The Prime Minister has described planning officials as 'enemies of enterprise' and declared that the forthcoming Budget will be the most growth-friendly for a generation. Speaking at the Conservative Party spring conference in Cardiff on 5th March 2011, David Cameron took aim at "town hall officials who take forever with those planning decisions that can be make or break for a business - and the investment and jobs that go with it".
John Silvester, Society Spokesperson, told Planning magazine "this appears reminiscent of the old Heseltine jibe of jobs being locked up in filing cabinets for which there was no demonstrable evidence; I am sure the same applies today. Planners are keen to secure the right development in the right place at the right time; they will only reject development if its inappropriate and will assist in making development happen if it is appropriate. They will not delay matters unreasonably just for delays sake. Developers must ensure they provide all necessary supporting material with an application, if there is delay it's more often the case it's because they omit key matters"
POS points out that the time to process applications has fallen over the past ten years and the number of applications approved has stayed around 85% over that time - see http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/1801861.xls