Anyone involved within the planning system will be acutely aware of the delays that can occur, not only throughout the pre-application process, but with the determination of a planning application.
It is interesting to read that since 2010 councils planning departments have cut spending by 50%. Although, encouraging to see the number of housing developments approved in spite of this. The question arises how will cash strapped, under staffed departments handle an increased number of applications to enable the delivery of housing targets?
It is clear from working with a number of planning departments that there are a number of pressures on departments including the reduction in budgets and the difficulties faced with staff recruitment and retention. Disappointingly the article quotes a former council planning policy manager, suggesting that additional application fee money may, in some circumstances, not be going directly on improving the planning service.
What and when will something give? The answer cannot be that schemes increasingly proceed with an appeal on non-determination grounds given the pressures that the Planning Inspectorate are already under...
In relation to local government services, and in respect of planning departments in particular, the report states that since 2010, council planning departments have cut spending by 50%. In spite of this, in 2016/17, councils granted planning permission for 321,202 new homes – up from 204,989 new homes in 2015/2016.