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Government bids to end repeat applications

Local authorities have been given new powers to stop architects using repeat planning applications to 'wear down opposition' to controversial schemes.

The changes, which came into force on Wednesday, were among a number of new measures outlined in the latest ODPM planning circular, Guidance on Changes to the Development Control System.

According to the document, the powers are 'not intended to prevent the submission of a similar application that has been altered to address objections' but rather to reduce the number of bids 'over time- [for] undesirable developments.'

Also, for the first time, local authorities will be able to cut back the periods for both outline and detailed planning permissions.

The document states: 'These powers reduce the period of validity of a detailed planning permission, a listed building consent and a conservation area consent from five to three years.

'Local planning authorities may still direct longer or shorter periods where this would be appropriate and it is recommended that they be flexible in their dealings with applicants, designating periods appropriate to the size and nature of the proposals.'

Full details about the changes can be found at www.odpm.gov.uk

by Richard Waite

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