Planning review launched to cut red tape

A red tape-busting review to weed out bureaucratic hurdles and create a more efficient, slicker planning system has been launched.

The review, entitled Planning Applications: A faster and more responsive system, will look at improving the planning application process from start to finish.

Hazel Blears, communities and local government secretary, launched the review today alongside housing and planning minister Caroline Flint and business secretary John Hutton.

Blears says “The planning system is how we shape our future and we want to make it greener, more efficient and more empowering for local communities.

“By removing red tape and unblocking the bottlenecks that are slowing down applications, we can create a planning system for people that makes it is easier to apply, easier to be heard and easier to be green.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government says local authorities have increased their speed at handling applications, with 75% meeting their performance targets, a rise of 25% in 2001.

But it claims there are still slow and cumbersome parts of the process that the government wants to tackle.

The review will look at unnecessary duplication of paperwork in the application process and delays even after planning permission is granted.

David Pretty, former chief executive of Barratt Developments, will lead the review alongside Joanna Killian, chief executive of Essex County Council.