Keith Hill announces range of measures to help planners including extra £1m for Planning Inspectorate.

Planning minister Keith Hill has given councils an extra five weeks to process large planning applications. The move is in response to pleas from councillors and planners to extend the time allowed for processing large applications. Currently they only have eight weeks.

Hill said: “We’ve talked to many councillors and planners and they’ve told us they need more time to process the larger applications – so that’s exactly what we’re giving them.”

Among a raft of proposals designed to help cut the backlog of planning appeals, Hill also announced an extra £1m for the Planning Inspectorate and said that the time period in which someone can make a planning appeal will be extended from three to six months.

Hill said: “The extra financial resources will have an obvious benefit to PINS, helping with the recruitment of both inspectors and clerical staff.”

“The change from three months to six months will give people more time to negotiate with their local council if their original application is rejected, rather than simply putting in an appeal straight away.”