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Planning overhaul could save £300m

Report lists 17 objectives to transform 'creaking' planning system

An overhaul of the planning process could save developers, authorities and the UK economy £300 million, according to a much-anticipated review of the creaking system.

Announced this afternoon (24 November), the Killian Pretty report outlines 17 ways the planning application process could be made ‘swifter and more effective'.

Among the recommendations aimed at ‘removing unnecessary bureaucracy’ are slashing the amount of ‘validation requirements’ and making Design and Access Statements more proportionate.

The review, the brainchild of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears, is also urging that timescale-based performance targets should be altered to stop the ‘perverse consequences’ of the current regime.

Instead of the existing eight and 13-week deadlines, the report calls for a system based on the quality of performance, with bonuses given to authorities who achieve high levels of satisfaction.

The expansion in the scope of permitted development has also been recommended for smaller commercial and non-domestic extensions – a move which the report believes could lead to a 40 per cent drop in minor business–related applications, such as shop-front alterations.

A spokesman for the RIBA – one of the consultees on the review – said: ‘Killian Pretty have clearly taken on board a lot of what we have said.’

To read the full report, see right.

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