Magazine article Public Finance

Councils: Planning Rules Must Stay Local

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils: Planning Rules Must Stay Local

Article excerpt

Decisions about relaxing planning restrictions should be left in the hands of councils not Whitehall, local government leaders have said.

The Budget proposed a significant overhaul of the planning regime including: a faster and more streamlined application process; a presumption in favour of sustainable development; and a 12-month guarantee for the processing of all planning applications. Ministers also intend to consult on making it easier for developers to convert commercial property into residential.

But the Local Government Association fears this proposal could replace a Onesize-fits-all* system with a similar one.

Gary Porter, chair of the LGA's environment and housing board, said: 'Removing the need for developers to obtain permission for converting empty shops into new housing may help in some areas, but it should be down to councils and residents to decide. …

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