Magazine article Public Finance

Barker Calls for Faster, More Efficient Planning System

Magazine article Public Finance

Barker Calls for Faster, More Efficient Planning System

Article excerpt

The planning system must be speeded up to assist developers and save money, ministers were told this week.

One year after economist Kate Barker called tor a major increase in house-building, her report on planning, published alongside the Pre-Budget Report, says policies must be streamlined to provide a more efficient and transparent framework. Green belt boundaries should be reviewed and planning authorities encouraged to 'take a more positive approach' to schemes that enhance the quality of green belts.

Applications should normally be approved unless economic, social and environmental costs outweigh the benefit of development. This, combined with more risk-based regulation, would cut paperwork and save more than £500m per year in planning and consultancy fees.

Barker also recommends a faster appeals process and suggests the number of applications called in by the government should be halved from next year. …

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