Long term competitiveness

TheCityUK response to consultation on an Accelerated Planning System

10 May 2024
3 minutes
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TheCityUK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consultation on an Accelerated Planning Service. We agree that there is a need to accelerate and reform the planning process and are pleased that the government is considering new approaches. 

In our response, we highlight the possible implications of introducing an accelerated service and steps that government could take to address these. We outline further reforms to the planning system that are needed to make it more efficient, predictable and attractive for investors.  

  • Government needs to signal that the new Accelerated Planning Service is the starting point on a journey to address the broader issues with the planning system. 
  • There is a risk that the introduction of an Accelerated Planning Service could lead to an increased number of refusals of applications. This could result in a greater volume of planning appeals, with time and cost implications.
  • The benefit of the accelerated service will be limited to a sub-set of developments. This risks creating a two-tiered service and an additional layer of complexity, placing more pressure on the limited resources available.
  • Key steps to support the introduction of the accelerated service include:
    • Provision of adequate resource in local planning authorities
    • Ringfencing of the accelerated service fee
    • Reflecting the accelerated service in relevant legislation and regulations
    • Developing guidance to set out clear milestones within the new accelerated process
  • Success of any future reform to the planning system will depend upon fundamental reform to address broader issues in the planning system. Key areas to address include the limited resource in local planning authorities, the lack of predictability in decisions, and efficiency of the planning approval process (in particular Section 106 agreements).