More planning applications are being dealt with at greater speeds according to figures published today. Local authorities dealt with planning applications two per cent faster in 2002/03 than in the previous year.
Despite an increase to 167,000 applications local planning authorities decided 43 per cent of major planning applications within 13 weeks, 54 per cent of minor planning applications and 72 per cent of other planning applications within eight weeks.
Planning Minister Keith Hill said:
“I am encouraged by these figures which reflect the hard work of planners. A faster, more efficient planning service benefits everyone in the community, whether their application is for a home extension or a new hospital.”
“Authorities like Wychavon, Middlesbrough and North Wiltshire have turned around performance and improved both speed and quality by rethinking their processes. I have invited these authorities to meet me so I can learn more about how it can be done.”
Improved performance by authorities is rewarded financially through the £350 million planning delivery grant. In the next financial year £130 million will be distributed to local planning authorities based on improvements in speed and quality of delivery.
Keith Hill said:
“It is encouraging to see a considerable number of authorities who are just below our performance targets. It just needs a small push and they will be there.
“My only concern is the improvements in performance remain concentrated in the simpler, householder applications. I want to see how next …