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Councils could be overruled

The Daily Telegraph reports that local councils that delay granting planning permission for new developments could be overruled by ministers.

It says that a measure contained in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill would allow planning applications to be taken straight to Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, if local authorities were making “unnecessarily slow decisions”.

In an announcement yesterday, Baroness Hanham, the communities and local government minister, said the Bill focused on reforms that would “boost Britain’s infrastructure, get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy and ensure the planning system operates effectively”.

She said a small number of councils were making “unnecessarily slow decisions” and others saw a high proportion of their decisions to refuse planning permission overturned at appeal.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

We say: This sounds great – except we aren’t quite sure how passing the backlog/slow decisions of every council across the country to one man will significantly speed up the system.

While we’re certain Mr Pickles is thoroughly capable, might it instead be more effective to train the decision-makers at council-level to make speedier/more considered decisions?

Myfanwy Neville

Partner, Property and Construction

T +44 (0)20 8922 9376

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