BPF calls for more action on planning reform

The British Property Federation (BPF) has warned that the Penfold Review of non-planning consents is not a cure-all for the planning system.

The government yesterday announced it would take forward the recommendations of the review, aimed at simplifying the non-planning consent regime.

The BPF welcomed the announcement, but said more needs to be done to reduce bureaucracy in the planning system.

Michael Chambers, associate director of special projects at the BPF, said: "The complexity of the non-planning consents regime is, of course, only one of many reasons why the current planning application process is often such a convoluted process.

It is essential that the government now drives forward the comprehensive programme of reforms to the planning application process set out in the Killian Pretty report that was published in 2009."

But he welcomed the intention of simplifying the non-planning consents system which means developers must currently apply for a range of permissions including environmental permits, highways orders, and heritage consents.

He said that reforms could unlock large developments and help regenerate towns and cities, particularly outside London.

Yesterday, planning minister Bob Neill said: "It’s important we help our businesses and not hinder them with unnecessary burdens, so they can continue to be competitive and invest in communities throughout the country."

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