Property chief slams core strategy absences

The chief executive of lobby group the British Property Federation (BPF) has said it is "absolutely scandalous" that many local planning authorities have failed to adopt their key core strategy planning documents.

Speaking at a conference in London earlier this month, Liz Peace said it is wrong that "seven years after the Planning Act 2004 which established the family of plans that an area is meant to have, we have so few core strategies in place".

But Peace told the conference, organised by consultancies WSP and Barton Willmore in association with Regeneration & Renewal, that councils that have produced a core strategy deserved credit for doing so.

She said it seems "unfair" that councils with core strategies in place should be penalised by having documents reassessed to ensure they are compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

"I think this is an issue that has to be talked about with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government to look at how to make sure those local authorities get some brownie points or get some credit for the fact that there is a plan already in place," she said.

Peace also said it is important to ensure that council planning teams are properly resourced if the NPPF is to be successful.

"We're talking about a time when local authorities are having their budgets slashed, their manpower reduced and have fewer and fewer people capable of actually dealing with planning," she said.

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