The Planning Court - one year on

The Planning Court - one year on

A new Planning Court has now been operating for just over a year, with the aim of speeding up the planning system, particularly in the instance of judicial review (JR). David Brammer, partner at Lanyon Bowdler, examines what changes have already taken place and explores what may come next.

What is the background to the changes?

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) assisted the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) when they were exploring the impact of JR on planning a couple of years ago. Preliminary scoping work on how to minimise the impact of JR and statutory reviews on planning decisions is now ongoing again.

There does not seem to be any immediate government commitment to introduce further reforms, but they do wish to keep this issue under constant review.

How does the court make the planning process more effective?

Various measures have been introduced to speed up the consideration of challenges and to weed out ‘unmeritorious’ challenges, such as:

  • reducing the period in which a planning JR can be submitted (from three months to six weeks);
  • introducing a new Planning Court and speciali

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