Fast-tracked applications & Councils called out for failings
Further to our blog post yesterday regarding the ability of planning applicants to choose their Planning Processor, another of the changes being put out to consultation would allow for developers to pay a premium price to gain a faster resolution to their application.
While this offers an attractive, if costly, option to large scale developers there is a concern that smaller scale developers could find themselves at the back of the queue. While further concerns raised focus on the need to balance the commercial interest of the fast-track investment with the rigour of the planning process being applied consistently.
However, talking to the Daily Mail, Brian Berry from the Federation of Master Builders commented that he felt the proposed changes would be welcomed by small scale developers who were already frustrated by the "painfully slow planning process".
An additional "naming and shaming" of councils with a poor record of processing planning applications probably won't win many friends in local government, but will be music to the ears of developers who have seen some high profile projects bogged down for years without good reason.
It is anticipated that following the consultation period a select few councils will be invited to take forward pilot schemes to assess the success of the changes in increasing housing supply.