55% of local planning authorities say they are under resourced

Earlier this month, Development Specialist Richard Carr discussed the lack of resources within local planning authorities and its effect on the government’s ambitious plans create a house building legacy.

This week, their plans have been further hit following a study which showed that the country’s planning system is on the brink as a result of local authorities suffering from a lack of resource.

Significant challenges

Richard Carr planning refused

Richard Carr says local planning authorities should presume to grant not start with a no!

Cities across the UK are being hit by delays of over six months on new planning applications it was revealed in an influential and authoritative annual survey.

Developers and local authorities have identified a lack of resource within planning departments as a key barrier to development, which in turn is effecting economic growth. House building has been identified as a key area for the current government with David Cameron revealing that he wants to see the UK creating 200,000 new homes per year.

However, at the moment the average submission to determination time for a major planning application is 32 weeks across London, Bristol and Greater Manchester, which is over double the government target of 13 weeks.

The government is going to need to address the situation if they are serious about creating a legacy.

Higher fees?

Interestingly, the majority of developers surveyed felt that an increase in planning fees would help the solution and help local authorities employ more planning staff, therefore decreasing waiting times and improving overall performance.

Shaun Andrews, GL Hearn’s head of investor and developer planning, said: “In order to get Britain building again, we need to get Britain planning.

“Development activity is critical for our economy, not least in order to tackle the urgent housing crisis. This year’s Annual Planning Survey shows that the planning system needs investment – and that requires action across the board.

“There is an urgent need to find bold new solutions to this shared challenge. Further streamlining of the system may well be part of the solution but to get Britain planning to enable growth requires investment.

“This is an industry-wide issue that needs us all to collaborate to prevent a poorly functioning planning system stifling economic growth.”

Government support

Richard Carr believes that fees are high enough for developers. LPA need to realise that there should be a presumption to grant and not a starting point of no. The time has come for change the current system is crippling this country and driving up house prices!

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