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Government bid to overhaul planning appeals postponed

Contentious government proposals to change the rules over planning appeals have been put on ice following a further postponement to the Planning Bill.

According to the draft plans currently making their way through Parliament, the responsibility for smaller appeals in England and Wales would be handed to panels of local councillors – and not to a trained, independent inspector.

To challenge the local review panel decision, architects would have to launch a costly High Court battle.

However a debate about the bill has now been put back until 23 June and doubts are growing about whether there will be time for Parliament to look at the ‘problem’ clauses.

The RIBA has already hit out at the proposals in Clauses 150-154 of the bill – branded ‘judge and jury’ by one member – claiming they lacked transparency.

The Bill also includes plans to remove ministers' say over large projects such as airports and nuclear plants which would be handed to an independent commission.

This issue is likely to take up most of the debating time in the near future.

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