There are other ways to ease the pressures on planning capacity, says Nicholas Boys Smith of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission
A consistent theme in our extensive evidence reviews was that planning teams and their advisors are under sharp resource pressure. National Audit Office analysis of team budgets shows why: they fell by between 24% and 46% between 2010 and 2014. And this is exacerbated by the frequently uneven nature of workflows.
One local authority official observed: “Where an applicant or developer has taken on a large site but doesn’t have the in-house skills or experience to manage the process, this puts a huge pressure on the local planning authority for resourcing and phasing.”
This has implications not just for speed – a constant complaint of developers. It also has implications for quality on matters of design, landscape and conservation.
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