The model code of conduct, enforced by Standards for England, bars elected members from taking part in decisions where they have previously campaigned or expressed a view.
However, with the scrapping of the board, communities secretary Eric Pickles has now suggested introducing a deterrent of criminal sanctions. Failing to register or disclose a personal interest impacting on council business could result in a conviction, fine or ban on serving as a councillor.
"This unnecessary bureaucracy restricting freedom of speech is being replaced with real openness and transparency," declared Pickles.
Public relations consultancy Financial Dynamics' vice-president Phil Kennedy said: "This ought to make it easier for developers to explain their proposals to planning committee members and get feedback.
"That takes some unpredictability out of the planning process."