A government planning consultation launched last week suggests planning fees could be refunded for applications where a decision takes longer than 26 weeks
The consultation entitled Planning performance and the planning guarantee, aims to introduce a planning guarantee, which would enforce statutory timescales and ensure authorities not complying are monitored.
The principle of the planning guarantee states that ’no planning application – major or otherwise – should take more than a year to decide, even where a planning appeal has been made.’
The move is aimed at speeding up the planning process and in turn stimulating growth in the construction sector.
It will not replace the statutory time limits which currently stand at 13 weeks for major applications and 8 weeks for all others.
Last year 78 per cent of all planning applications were decided within the statutory time limit. Yet the consultation document suggests that the number of major applications decided within the current 13 week time period has fallen from 71 per cent to 57 per cent in the last 3 years.
If these proposals go ahead the legislation should come in to play in October 2013.
Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week
Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library
Are you a student?
Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students