Application to speed up housing planning fast tracked

New proposals to speed up housebuilding will enable local governments to process planning applications and fast track application services.

A new consultation published to shake up planning process’ has proposed that councils be allowed to process planning applications, offer fast track services, and tackle the ‘drawn out applications and local frustration’ for house builders and individual applicants.

The proposal is designed to increase local choice by allowing applicants the choice of whether to submit their applications to their local council, a competing council or a government approved organisation. Councils will then be able to offer a fast track planning application service, through competition pilots or potential devolution deals.

The changes in application processes are also aimed at increasing local government incentive for innovation and efficiency.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark welcomed the move. He said: “Council planning departments play a vital role in getting local housebuilding off the ground, but for too long they have had no incentive to get things done quickly or better, resulting in drawn out applications and local frustration.

“These proposals will be a boost for housebuilders looking to build much needed new homes for hard working families and first time buyers, and for local people looking to get a planning permission for home improvements through their local council quicker."

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis added: “Many councils are already working hard to improve the services they offer their residents, and across the country people’s satisfaction levels remain high.

“Now we want to go further by setting out these ambitious proposals to link any future increases in application fees to councils’ performance, and testing more competition including through offering dedicated fast track application services.”