Planning applications for housing developments in the UK could be fast-tracked for a fee under new government proposals.
The proposals will increase local choice by giving applicants the choice of whether to submit their plans to the local council, a competing council or a government approved organisation that would process applications up until the decision point.
Councils will also be able to offer the fast track planning application service – either through competition pilots or potentially through devolution deals.
Responding to the news, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It’s very welcome news that the government has listened to the concerns of industry over the sclerotic planning system. Across the country, SME housebuilders continue to be frustrated by a painfully slow planning process that is holding back the delivery of new homes. The numerous sources of delays and inefficiencies in the system impact upon house building rates, and act as a major deterrent to small developers who need to see speedy returns on their investments. Anything which encourages innovation and incentivises councils to deal with applications with greater urgency must be welcome.”