• Planning body launches top 10 myths

    7th September 2011 | News | Claire
  • The draft National Planning Policy Framework, which has been widely denounced as a developer’s charter, has prompted an increasingly bitter row between environmental groups and the Government.  The RTPI has sought to bring the two groups together for a discussion on how the situation moves forward. 

    The RTPI’s top ten planning myths are listed below and put some of the questionable claims from both Greg Clark MP (Minister for Decentralisation) and the Housebuilder’s Federation into perspective:

    The Top Five ‘Planning Myths’:

    1. The default response to a planning application is “No”
    Government statistics show that for at least a decade more than 8 in 10 planning applications are granted. The figure for major commercial applications, critical for economic growth, is higher at around 90%.

    2. Planning is slow
    Councils as a whole meet or exceed the 8 or 13 week application targets set for them by the government. Only 0.7% of planning applications take longer than 12 months to reach a decision.

    3. Planning is costly. 
    Costs continue to fall. Application fees are very small in comparison to the potential profits of development.

    4. Planning is a drag on economic growth
    Planning significantly contributes to growth. The certainty provided by the planning system is essential in supporting business investment decisions. 

    5. Planning forces house prices up
    The current slump in house building is the result of a lack of finance, both for homebuyers and house builders, prevalent since the “credit crunch”.  The slow-down in planning permissions is the result of a lack of planning applications. There is not a lack of houses, premises to convert or sites to build on. In England, there are around 750,000 empty homes, nearly half of which have been empty for over 6 months, and developers have permission for around 300,000 homes they are not currently building.

    The planning system is not perfect and we will continue to argue for improvements. We will also continue to work with local and national government to improve the standards of planning through the work we do with our members, by setting and regulating high standards of professional practice.