Major changes to planning process revealed

Proposals to save businesses and councils £300m a year by cutting red tape in the planning application process will be set out today in a review published alongside the Pre-Budget Report.









The Killian Pretty review calls for almost 40 per cent of minor applications by businesses to be removed from the planning system altogether, allowing small-scale alterations and extensions to go ahead more quickly.



And it recommends improvements to the pre-application phase to iron out potential problems early and avoid lengthy delays later in the process.



Planning minister Margaret Beckett said that, where possible, the Government will take forward the report's proposals "as a matter of urgency".



"We believe this is a thorough analysis that pinpoints where the application process can free up resources and be much less bureaucratic," she said.



"I am determined that we do everything we can to tackle today's economic challenges head on. It is vital that when the economy begins to recover that people find a re-invigorated and leaner planning system."



A recent World Bank assessment found that while the UK is rated the sixth most attractive economy to invest in worldwide, its planning and licensing regulations are placed 61st - behind countries like Kenya, South Korea and Colombia.



The review of planning regulations by Essex County Council chief executive Joanna Killian and former Barratt Developments chief executive David Pretty was commissioned in March by the Communities and Business Secretaries.



Its recommendations include a "significant" reduction in the paperwork required from applicants, a reduction in the number of conditions imposed on projects, the improvement of administrative processing of applications and clear and faster planning obligation agreements.



Communities Secretary Hazel Blears welcomed today's report: "People often tell me they are confused and exasperated by the planning system. The system must keep the safeguards that ensure the right decisions are made, but unnecessary bureaucracy and a lack of clarity aren't just annoying, they're costly too.



"We urgently need to unburden our economy, business and stretched council resources by creating a more proportionate and efficient planning application service.



"The Killian Pretty plan can save £300m a year and prevent the unnecessary planning red tape hurting our economy. People need a re-invigorated and leaner system in place."



Business Secretary Lord Mandelson added: "Business is facing tough challenges and we need bold new thinking and approaches to help us tackle the current global downturn.



"Freeing up the system, taking out up to 40 per cent of minor commercial planning applications, would give a much needed boost to business, saving time and money, generating more investment and delivering estimated savings of £300m to the UK economy."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links