Planning performance consultation reveals increased threshold for designation

Planning performance consultation reveals increased threshold for designation

What changes are proposed to the criteria for designating poorly performing planning authorities? The threshold for the designation of authorities as underperforming is to be increased to 40% or fewer decisions made on time, but there are concerns that this could have a detrimental impact on the quality of decision-making.

What is the background to the consultation?

The consultation supports the implementation of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, s 1, which allows planning applications to be submitted directly to the Secretary of State if a local planning authority (LPA) is designated on the basis of under-performance. The original criteria used for identifying under-performance were brought into force on 25 April 2013.

In March 2014 the government published a consultation on 'Planning performance and planning contributions”. This report summarises comments received and the government's response and next steps. The consultation sought views on:

  • changing the criteria for assessing LPA performance on the speed of handling planning applications
  • the scope to increase that threshold further in the future
  • whether LPAs dealing with a minimum number of applications should be exempted from designation, and
  • proposed broad tests to be applied in considering exceptional circumstances which might make a designation unreasonable

The consultation closed on 4 May 2014 and the government's response was published on 13 June 2014.

What changes does the government propose to make in light of the responses?

Speed of decisions

Legislation will be amended to increase the threshold for the designation of authorities as underperforming, based on the speed of deciding applications for major developments, from 30% or fewer decisions made on time to 40% or fewer decisions made on time. This 40% threshold will be kept under review with a view to increasing it in future.

The government hopes that raising the threshold to 40% will help to encourage continued improvements in performance.

Exemption for LPAs determining two applications or fewer

The government intends to introduce an exemption from designation based on the speed of decisions, for LPAs tha

Subscription Form

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:

Already a subscriber? Login
RELX (UK) Limited, trading as LexisNexis, and our LexisNexis Legal & Professional group companies will contact you to confirm your email address. You can manage your communication preferences via our Preference Centre. You can learn more about how we handle your personal data and your rights by reviewing our  Privacy Policy.

Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.

Read full article

Already a subscriber? Login

About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.