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ENVIRONMENT SPEEDS UP PLANNING APPROVALS

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Environment secretary John Gummer has proposed a package of changes to speed up and streamline the development plan...
Environment secretary John Gummer has proposed a package of changes to speed up and streamline the development plans and planning appeals processes. (LGC magazine, p1)

Developers, conservation groups, local authorities and professional bodies have lobbied for the changes, announced this week.

The government proposes to allocate more money to the system to allow the Planning Inspector to handle more appeals. Councils' scope to ignore inspectors recommendations would be reduced.

The secretary of state would have the power to decide the method by which appeals against refusal for planning permission are determined.

Proposals include the adoption of more statutory time limits, the option to use written instead of oral representations and introducing a negotiation/mediation process to resolve disputes.
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