COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT News Release (279) issued by COI News Distribution
Service. 24 November 2008
today welcomed proposals to help small businesses and councils
save up to £300m a year through a root and branch overhaul of the
bureaucratic planning application process recommended by the
Killian Pretty review.
The review, commissioned by the Communities and Business
Secretaries, is especially relevant given the current challenging
economic environment. Creating a more proportionate and responsive
planning application process will help businesses, developers,
councils and households, facing these challenging circumstances
both now and in the future.
Ministers agree with the Killian Pretty review that it is not
good enough that we have a planning system that is ranked 61st in
the world. They agree that the process for small scale minor
developments (which constitute the vast majority of applications)
needs to be made simpler, freeing up resources to deal better with
larger and more complex proposals.
The Government has signalled it supports the broad thrust of the
report. The Government intends to publish an implementation plan
early in the new year, setting out in more detail how it intends
to respond to the proposals that will deliver to the country the
benefits of a leaner and less bureaucratic planning application process.
Housing and Planning Minister Margaret Beckett said:
"We believe this is a thorough analysis that pinpoints where
the application process can free up resources and be much less bureaucratic.
"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.
"Where we can, we will act immediately to develop and take
forward the Killian Pretty's recommendations as a matter of
urgency so we deliver savings to the UK economy quickly."
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears added:
"People often tell me they are confused and exasperated by
the planning system. We urgently need to unburden our economy,
businesses and overstretched council resources by creating a more
proportionate and efficient planning application service.
"The system must keep the safeguards that ensure the right
decisions are made but unnecessary red tape and a lack of clarity
aren't just annoying, they're costly too. I thank David
Pretty and Joanna Killian who have rightly identified that we need
a better, more efficient planning application service now more
"The Killian Pretty review has provided government with a
comprehensive and authoritative recipe to reduce the bureaucratic
burdens in the planning application process that will prevent it
hurting our economy and saving us all £300m a year.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:
"Business is facing tough challenges and we need bold new
thinking and approaches to help us tackle the current global downturn.
"The hard work by Killian Pretty has given us the means to
cut out an enormous amount of red tape, creating a simpler and
more responsive process.
"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 saving of £300 million to the
The Government has already begun to modernise the planning system
so it can meet the unprecedented pressures of the twenty-first
century - a global trading system, rapid demographic shifts and
climate change. The 2007 Planning White Paper and subsequent
legislation have already made inroads and this report is the next
step in the process of modernisation.
Notes to editors
1. The World Bank's doing business survey measuring business
regulations ranks economies on their ease of doing business
includes the dealing with construction permits (planning) category
- which the UK economy is ranked 61st. It can be found at:
2. The Killian Pretty review press release can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1070512
3. The full review can be downloaded at:
4. The Government has already introduced changes so that home
extensions, loft conversions and solar panels no longer need
planning permission. This has the potential to remove over 80,000
applications from the process. We have also introduced an online
planning application form to begin simplifying and speeding up the
planning application process. The Planning Inspectorate is also
piloting a fast track house-holder scheme. The Planning Reform
Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent later this week.
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