Planning Officers Society President, David Hackforth, endorses the need to minimise disruption of the planning system. He told Planning magazine that the system has turned out more complex than it was before reforms were put in place, so it would be good to get back to something simpler and quicker. But the last thing it needs is the upheaval caused by a complete overhaul.
Significant changes brought about by the 2004 and 2008 legislation are still bedding down; we don't want a new planning act that will bring delays and uncertainty, said Hackforth.
The President went on to explain that whatever the incoming government's reforms, it should not lose sight of planning's positive role. Ensuring that development happens in the right place, helping economic recovery and tackling issues such as climate change are all areas in which planning has a part to play. The worst thing in the world would be to see planning go back to being just a regulatory system, he concluded.
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