Press release

New figures help ‘go compare’ on councils’ planning service

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Information will allow councils to see where they need to improve to provide a better planning service to their communities.

A league table of planning authorities’ performance will help councils improve services and provide more certainty for local residents and local firms using the planning system, Planning Minister Nick Boles said today (30 July, 2013).

A table now available shows the speed and quality of decisions on major applications and gives councils an indication of how they are performing against statutory deadlines.

The majority of councils are performing well but there are still some authorities blighted by delays in processing applications. This can delay and discourage much needed investment in jobs, homes and community facilities.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said:

It’s quite right that communities and developers looking to provide homes and jobs are able to see how efficiently applications are processed by their council.

This list helps people go compare, and see how their council is performing, and allows councils to see where they need to improve to provide a better planning service to their communities.

This table does not show authorities that will be designated as under-performing against statutory deadlines. That can only be confirmed once final data is available in the autumn and incorporated into this table.

New laws allow for slow-to-the-mark planning authorities to be designated later in the year if their performance drops below an acceptable level. Where this occurs applicants will be able to apply directly to the Planning Inspectorate for a swifter decision, through a process that will not reduce local people’s ability to comment on proposals.

Ministers hope that this will provide a strong encouragement for the under-performing councils to raise their game and improve their planning service.

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