The Planning Officers Society has expressed concern that the new responsibilities placed on local authorities under the Planning Act 2008 will bring about additional costs in discharging those responsibilities and the loss of funding that will accompany them.
The Society is adamant that additional duties and costs will apply to a wide range of national infrastructure proposals. Most of these have not yet had locations identified in draft National Policy Statements, but potentially the additional duties and costs could fall on any local authority in England.
In a letter to John Healey MP, the Minister for Housing and Planning, David Hackforth, the Society's President, urges him to accept the argument that the Planning Act 2008 places new burdens on local authorities and to take appropriate steps to provide councils with the extra resources needed to discharge these new responsibilities.
In making its response the Society is supporting the case made by Copeland Borough Council to the Government that it should recognise that there is a new burden on those local authorities where nationally significant infrastructure projects are situated, as well as their neighbours, and fund such authorities appropriately to enable the new Planning Act regime to work as it was intended.
Note: this has also been copied to Bob Neill MP the Conservative Shadow Minister for Planning and Julia Goldsworthy MP the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.