• The govt reveals yet more plans to weaken planning rules

    1st February 2013 | News | Claire
  • I wonder how they will distinguish between genuine comments from members of the public and developer submissions – especially when at least one of those in charge of this project… is a developer!

    Here is the story in Planning – http://www.planningresource.co.uk/bulletin/planningdaily/article/1169299/government-launches-planning-red-tape-challenge/ …and the full story below:……………………….

    Businesses and members of the public are being asked by the government to nominate planning regulations to be changed or removed in the latest stage of a deregulation drive.

    The latest stage of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, this time relating to planning administration regulations, was announced yesterday by planning minister Nick Boles, who promised that the move would not affect countryside or environmental protections.

    In a statement, the DCLG said it wants to make “the mechanics of the planning system more efficient and accessible” but said the review would not make any changes to planning policy.

    Regulations the department is looking at altering include those associated with planning procedures, major infrastructure and local plan making.

    Planners and members of the public have been asked to contact the government over the next five weeks with their views on whether such planning regulations should be changed or dropped.

    The DCLG statement promised that respondents will be able to “highlight areas where the system can be made simpler, clearer and easier for people to use and also let us know where regulation is essential”.

    It has chosen consultant Roger Hepher, Savills’ head of planning, and Mike Kiely, the London Borough of Croydon’s head of planning, as its two ‘sector champions’ for the initiative.

    Sector champions are high-profile industry figures who the government appoints to help it carry out the red tape simplification task.

    Kiely said: “When I first went into planning, the ‘Encyclopaedia of Planning Law’ went to four volumes; it is now 10. This is an opportunity to thin it down.

    “The Red Tape Challenge wants to get rid of what’s no longer needed, to consolidate the bits that have frankly got out of hand and to amend the stuff that could just work a bit better.”

    Hepher added: “Although we’ve lost a certain amount of red tape since 2010, there’s still plenty around.

    “This government is giving all those interested in the planning system an unprecedented opportunity to clear the decks of unnecessary rules and regulations that remain, and to address the bits previous initiatives have missed.”

    The DCLG also announced yesterday the results of another aspect of the Red Tape Challenge to simplify housing and construction regulations, which was launched last February.

    It said about 100 such regulations will now be cut or altered in an effort to streamline the process of building homes and renting out properties.

    Boles said: “We’re streamlining the building system and removing and improving regulations to lift unnecessary burdens where we can, to create a smooth journey through the construction process.

    “The planning administration theme will build on this and simplify the mechanics of the planning system more.”

    Under the Red Tape Challenge, the government publishes online in stages regulations related to a particular sector, asks people to tell it which should be ditched or simplified, and promises to act on the feedback.

    More information on the planning administration red tape challenge can be found here.