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Planners welcome Government announcement on extending planning permission durations

18 June 2009

The Royal Town Planning Institute has responded to the announcement by John Healey MP, Minister for Housing and Planning at the RTPI Planning Convention that a new mechanism will be introduced allowing already granted planning permission consents to be extended from the current three years by an additional three, in an attempt to respond to the challenging economic situation faced by the development sector.

Rynd Smith, Head of Policy and Practice at the RTPI said:

\"We welcome the principle of extending the life of planning permissions, recognising that there are a large number of currently approved schemes that will not be developed within the three year lifetime of their existing permission. However we consider that it is very important that the final power to make a decision about the extension of the duration of planning permission rests with local planning authorities, who will be able to use this new power pro-actively to ensure development remains on track and benefits the local community and the wider economy.\"

The RTPI believes that there should not be a blanket extension provided as this would fail to recognise the rare but sometimes critically important circumstances in which local conditions change over a timescale shorter than six years.