New measures will speed up the planning process

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Planning Minister Brandon Lewis has proposed new measures designed to make the planning system work more efficiently and effectively…

The changes relate to the section 106 agreements, which attach conditions on planning permission being granted. This process can often lead to extended negotiations that can cause significant delays to the planning application process.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Section 106 planning agreements can bring great benefits to local communities but too often they drag out planning applications for months.

“That’s why I’m proposing measures that will speed up the process, get planning permissions granted quicker and workers on site earlier, all the while keeping the community benefits that these agreements can bring.”

The government said that while section 106 agreements can benefit the local community by ensuring the impact of a scheme is discussed, it can add months to the planning process—even stalling work on developments.

Proposals to get around this include:

  • Ensuring section 106 negotiations complete in line with the existing eight to 13 week target for the processing of planning applications;
  • Ensuring discussions take place at the start of the planning application process, rather than the current system which can see negotiations start towards the end;
  • The implementation of the dispute resolution process for stalled negotiations.

Furthermore, Lewis suggested using standardised documents to avoid agreements being drafted from scratch, and additional legislation to give strength to the new measures.

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