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Autumn Statement Good in Part, Says POS

Date: 3/12/2014

In response to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement issued today Mike Kiely, Chair of POS, said "there is much to commend in the Chancellor's Statement, but nonetheless we are concerned if necessary planning requirements are to be dispensed with."

The Statement said the government will work "with industry and local authorities to test whether more can be done to support the approval of small sites in the planning system".

The document also said the government would be "publishing new data on local authorities' performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within 8 weeks".

The document also confirmed measures, unveiled in yesterday's National Infrastructure Plan 2014, which the government will:

  • Take forward measures to "ensure that the principle of development need only be established once".
  • Take steps to speed up section 106 negotiations, "to reduce delays to the planning process".
    • POS expressed concern if the Government reforms were to make it more difficult for councils to secure legitimate and important infrastructure contributions through Section 106 agreements which are essential to the development.
  • Keep the speed of major decisions under review, "with minimum performance thresholds increasing to 50 per cent of major decisions made on time as performance improves".
    • POS expressed disappointment that the threshold for the planning performance regime will be raised. Kiely added "this could result in speeding up decision making at the expense of negotiated settlement of knotty issues."
  • Publish new data on local authorities' performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within 8 weeks.
  • Publish proposals for consultation in the 2015 Budget "to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development".
  • Lay the National Networks National Policy Statement before Parliament in December 2014.

POS also welcomes the announcement of the reform of the compulsory purchase order process which is overly resource intensive and complex. POS awaits further information before commenting further.

MikeKiely3web.jpgMike Kiely

See the Autumn Statement

See the National Infrastructure Plan 2014


 

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