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Planning decisions in 12 months - guaranteed

Housing minister Grant Shapps has confirmed the Government’s commitment to guarantee that planning applications will be determined within a 12-month period.

In a speech to the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF) in May, the minister confirmed that the guarantee, first mooted by the Government in the Budget in March, would apply to the “entire planning process” including appeals. Speed was important, as well as making the right decisions, said the minister.

The 12-month guarantee could save businesses money, as well as cutting bureaucracy at local level and will be considered at the same time as the Government’s consultation into the national planning framework, due in July. Grant Shapps also alluded to penalties for local authorities that overran the 12-month time frame, but gave no further details.

Commenting in Building, former Barrett chief executive David Pretty welcomed the news but warned that unless the proposals take into account the time taken up by pre-application discussions, the 12-month pledge may not make much difference.

The minister also told the HBF that plans to introduce a Local Standards Framework allowing local authorities to establish their own individual planning policies, will not go ahead.

For more information go to www.hbf.co.uk

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