The national pilot project trialling the use of Planning Delivery Agreements for large and complex planning applications is fully supported by the Planning Officers Society, who helped in identifying suitable pilot authorities.
The Society takes the pragmatic view that very large applications do take an exceedingly long time to deal with and it is in every one’s interest to know what the actual stages will be, when they will occur and what resources are needed to complete the determination process. Essentially PDAs are project management tools and some local planning authorities have not been as effective as they could be in dealing with large applications in a business-like manner.
POS does, however, have some concern that none of the pilot schemes will be exempt from the ODPM timeliness targets, despite the recommendation by ATLAS to do so. John Silvester, Spokesperson for POS, said “We all know how long a very large and complex application can take to process. What should be happening is that the agreed target included in the PDA should be used as the standard for the LPA to be measured against, not the customary arbitrary and meaningless target.”