BRIAN WATERS RESPONDS
It's true that most commentators made the mistake of reading the new circular on development control as abolishing 'twin tracking', but they were wrong. The end of twin tracking is expected to come in when the government introduces a short period of dual jurisdiction when people can lodge an appeal.
I quickly corrected my error but your sub-editors were too fast. My planning column (AJ 29.09.05) should have read: 'The other main change introduced is more controversial. The new Act promises the end of 'twin tracking', the dubious practice of submitting duplicate, identical applications with the threat of taking one to appeal should the authority not perform promptly and positively. This change is still to come but the circular brings in a new 'power to decline to determine applications'. These new powers are intended to inhibit the use of repeated applications that are submitted with the intention of, over time, reducing opposition to undesirable developments. It covers listed-building and conservation-area applications as well and is far wider than the previous, restricted, power available to planning authorities.' Brian Waters, via email