Will bypassing councils make planning decisions quicker and more effective?
A new report by the Policy Exchange considers planning reform and envisages a zonal planning system whereby development decisions would bypass elected members and council officers. However, whether this will lead to quicker and better decisions is questionable.
Tristan Ward, Partner in BDB Pitmans’ landed estates and agriculture team and Ben Arrowsmith, Associate in BDB Pitmans’ planning and infrastructure team, share their views in an article for The Planner.
‘Policy Exchange proposes that applications are considered by reference to the rules for the relevant zone, effectively by reference to a checklist and without reference to a democratically accountable structure exercising planning judgement. Local politicians and their electorates’ wishes are seen to be the impediment. Applicants would have a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, but only by reference to the zone rules. Decisions would remain susceptible to judicial review. The only role of the planning authority would be to set the rules applicable in the zones.’
The full article is available, here.