More Measures to Streamline Planning Applications Proposed

Further measures designed to streamline the planning application process have been put out for consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Planning Minister Nick Boles said the changes would cut out unnecessary paperwork, bureaucracy and duplication.

Proposed measures include reinstating an applicant’s ability to challenge councils about the information necessary for an application to be valid, and removing the need for councils to list their reasons for granting planning permission.

Other proposals would remove the requirement to provide design and access statements with most minor applications where, the department has argued, statements add little value to the design process but add significantly to the cost and complexity of preparing an application.

The Government has stressed that these moves do not mean the administration has changed its policy on the need for good design. The Government said it still expects decisions to reflect the importance placed on good design.

The minister said: “We are determined to cut away unnecessary burdens and paperwork and provide a simpler, swifter planning system for all.

“The small changes we are proposing are another step in streamlining an application process that for too long has been weighed down by the need to provide irrelevant information and detail.”

In a separate development the department has confirmed it is poised to unveil revised proposals to make it easier to convert empty and under-used commercial space into residential use.

A DCLG spokesperson said: ”This will provide new homes, help regenerate urban areas and boost local town centres. We will announce more details shortly.”

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