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RIBA urges government to scrap planning target to speed up process

The RIBA has urged the government to drop the eight- and 13-week planning targets imposed on local authorities to speed up the planning process.

Responding to the Killian-Pretty Review, which is looking at how best to revive the ailing planning system, the institute has suggested giving councils more flexibility to negotiate longer timescales.

The RIBA claims the move could avoid ‘precipitous decisions’ – which lead to appeals and ‘much longer overall delays’ – and also cut down ‘unnecessary friction between all those involved’.

In addition the institute is also calling for a significant reduction in the information currently demanded in support of planning applications, more local design review panels and the adoption of a new planning policy statement ‘defining a presumption in favour of small-scale development within the… limits of built-up areas’.

The review, officially entitled Planning Applications: A Faster and More Responsive System – A Call for Solutions, is being headed by Joanna Killian of Essex County Council and David Pretty, the former chief executive of Barratt Developments.

It is the latest in a long line of ‘bureaucracy busting’ attempts to streamline the system and is the brainchild of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears (AJ online 02.04.08).

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