The drive to speed up planning consents has suffered a blow after it was revealed that fewer than half of local authorities are expected to meet the revised deadlines
Sources at the government’s planning inspectorate, which is monitoring the changes, say only 43% of local authorities have drafted a local development framework, the document that sets out the development plan for an area. The deadline for completing the framework is March.
Planning minister Keith Hill believes that these frameworks are crucial, as they are intended to allow local authorities to link planning with their economic, environmental and social policies.
A source in the planning inspectorate said: “If local authorities do not meet the March deadline over frameworks then the government will be forced to extend it.”
Building revealed last month that the aim of the ODPM to speed up the planning process was in disarray. The department wants planning authorities to process 60% of applications in 13 weeks but in the first half of last year only 32% of councils met this target.
If local authorities do not meet the March deadline over frameworks then the government will be forced to extend it
Planning inspectorate source
The ODPM also faces difficulties with its drive to increase housebuilding output in the South-east.
The East of England regional assembly, which oversees two of the government’s four South-east growth areas, announced in December that it was suspending support for the government’s sustainable communities plan to build 478,000 houses in the area by 2021.
The ODPM has already been knocked off course by the decision last month of the South East England regional assembly to set housing targets at a much lower rate.