ODPM minister Yvette Cooper (pictured)yesterday announced that £135 million in Planning Delivery Grants would be distributed to local authorities to aid online planning processes.
Cooper also said that she wanted some of the cash to be used to speed up the delivery of homes in areas which have been targeted for new housing. This fulfils an essential element of the Sustainable Communities Plan.
The housing minister said this new cash was also a direct response to the Treasury's Barker Review of Housing.
Cooper said: 'We are committed to supporting planners as they strive to improve the planning system and deliver sustainable communities.
'We need to build more homes if we are to make housing more affordable for future generations, and we know our planners are at the heart of making this happen.
'It is great that local planning authorities are already improving their performance. However, there is still a challenge for authorities to deal with applications more efficiently, while ensuring they make the right decision for their community.
'I congratulate those who have done well this year. I hope others will follow in their footsteps and help create a truly first-class planning system.'