London council keen to assist developers gain planning

Property developer Richard Carr was pleased to read about London council’s announcement that it will routinely publish official advice on applications to developers.

Process

Richard Carr Planning Permission s106

Developers set to receive support from council

Richard Carr is often frustrated by the lack of feedback from local planning authorities when rejecting planning applications, so is pleased to see London council making this landmark move.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will, from March, routinely publish any advice planning officers, or the council’s architectural appraisal panel, has given an applicant about a development proposal before the application was made.

Under fire

Developers can often come under fire from local communities who disagree with them receiving planning permission on a particular location. However, by the council publishing the conversations between the developer and planning teams it will provide transparency and show the level of consideration taken and the changes made by the developer to meet requirements.

When this process comes into place, it’s believed that the council will be the first in the UK to open its files in this way.

Working with developers

The council already offers a popular service where it provides advice to those who are considering making a planning application. Currently this advice is confidential, however it can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

After March, the council will automatically publish this information without there having to be a specific request.

Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for planning policy, said: “The borough is already streets ahead of many other councils in the way it publishes planning application information on its website.

“This is another step in our commitment to being transparent. Everyone will be able to see the advice our officers have provided, how they have fought to get improvements to development proposals and how they have encouraged applicants to engage with those who might be affected.”

Richard Carr believes this is a positive move and will allow the public to form clear opinions as to why a planning application has been granted. He believes Poole council and others across the country should take note.