Proposals by the Government for new approaches to meeting the costs of the planning service where this improves performance have been welcomed by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Speaking yesterday at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Housing, communities secretary James Brokenshire said that reform is needed, with only half of the annual spend of £1 billion on all local authority planning functions covered by fee income.
The RTPI has been leading the way since before last year’s Autumn Budget on calls for local authorities in England to be allowed to raise planning fees to cover the entire administrative cost of the planning application function, if they choose to. Any additional revenue could be invested into improving the speed and quality of planning services.
Richard Blyth, RTPI Head of Policy and Research, said:
“We are delighted that to see that Mr Brokenshire has taken note of our proposals, speaking yesterday of the government’s apparent willingness to look at ways in which a greater proportion of the costs of the planning service could be borne by applicants.
“The RTPI has been talking to its members and the England Policy Panel on this topic and will be contributing to the forthcoming Accelerated Planning Green Paper. We look forward to working with the Government on its proposals as the details are finalised.”
Among other proposals, Mr Brokenshire also said that the Green Paper will set out how the process of granting planning permissions for families wishing to extend their properties could be improved.