Plans to streamline planning applications unveiled

Proposals to reduce the number of nationally-prescribed information requirements for outline planning applications are contained in a consultation on streamlining the planning application process published yesterday.

The government’s Plan for Growth, issued alongside the 2011 Budget, announced its intention to simplify and streamline the arrangements for making and determining planning applications in England.

Alongside a cut in nationally-prescribed requirements, which could remove the requirement for details of layout to be specified at the outline applicatuion stage and see a review of the content of Design and Access Statements where these are being provided in support of outline applications, the consultation document proposes:

  • "Strong encouragement" for local planning authorities to keep their local information requirements under frequent review
  • The amalgamation of standard application form requirements for agricultural land declarations and ownership certificates.
The document said: "The key issue is that the right information must be available, at an appropriate time, to support good decision-making. The National Planning Policy Framework guides applicants to discuss information requirements with the local planning authority and key consultees early on. The changes proposed here support this approach: they remove nationally-imposed requirements that are not needed for every application, allowing space for local agreement on what is needed".

Planning minister Greg Clark said: "Following the simplification of the national planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, these proposed changes streamline the process of applying for planning permission.

"Our aim is to have a system that applicants and members of communities can be confident will give a reliable, swift and fair outcome."

Streamlining information requirements for planning applications: Consultation
can be read here.