by Meera Patel, Trainee Solicitor and Sima Odedra, Senior Solicitor
The Government seeks to implement procedural improvements to accelerate the time taken to make decisions on planning applications. The Green Paper will set out proposals for improving the process for granting planning permissions and, in doing so, the service provided to both homeowners and commercial developers.
In particular the Green Paper will look at solutions for speeding up the decision-making process for planning applications, as well as taking into account the recent review of the planning appeals process which made recommendations to reduce the time taken to conclude planning appeal inquiries.
So what are some of the proposals and future benefits?
- The implementation of a new tiered planning system which will help simplify the current out-dated system. This efficient system will allow for a user friendly approach making it a faster, fairer system which works for both homeowners and businesses alike
- Work alongside the vision of reducing the carbon footprint and in turn cut emission in new homes by 2025. New homes will be introduced with the latest generation of technology including air source heat pumps and cutting edge solar panels reducing carbon emissions in new homes by 80% and lowering household energy bills
- Review application fees so that council planning departments have the resources they need to provide up to date high quality decisions within a reduced timeframe, for instance by allowing more qualified planners to process applications for new homes and other proposals
- Refund more fees if councils take too long in making a decision on certain types of planning applications in an attempt to encourage councils to work faster and more efficiently
- Reduce the number of planning conditions by a third given that planning conditions are sometimes perceived as slowing up the planning process
- To consider allowing homes to be built above existing properties so that the governments initiative to increase the housing supply by 2020 is met
- To consider demolishing old commercial buildings allowing for new housing to be developed in its place and revamping high streets
The Accelerated Planning Green Paper will be published sometime in November 2019. The question at the moment is how the government’s proposals will come to fruition.