local planning authorities were announced yesterday at a meeting of
the Panel for Regulatory Accountability, chaired by cabinet office
minister, Mo Mowlam.
levels and give business and other users greater certainty.
Speaking before the panel, Nick Raynsford, planning minister at the
'We are continuing to drive forward the Modernising Planning
programme to deliver improvements in performance.
'New regional planning policy guidance will be published shortly,
which will improve the arrangements for regional planning, promote
competition, economic development and regeneration and encourage
provision for clusters and major development sites.
'We are also encouraging the regional planning bodies to work with
business to ensure that policies on economic development, housing and
transport take account of business concerns.
'We have commissioned best practice research to help local
authorities speed up their development plan preparation, in line with
guidance we issued in December.
'Authorities performance on handling planning applications must be
improved. Under the best value regime we will be prepared to name and
shame any authorities whose performance remains poor.
'We will be announcing today, new rules and guidance to streamline
inquiry and other appeal procedures so that the decisions are made
more quickly but no less fairly.
'I hope shortly to make a further announcement about the fundamental
review of compulsory purchase law and procedures which is making good
'I am also pleased to say that next month the Local Government
Association will be launching a Planning Users Concordat, designed to
ensure that local planning authorities, business and local people
work closely together to deliver effective local planning.'
Commenting on rural planning issues, Mr Raynsford said:
'At a recent seminar attended by the National Farmers Union, the
Country Landowners Association and other key stakeholders, I
discussed ways in which planning authorities can work with farmers to
boost the rural economy. In the forthcoming Rural White Paper we will
be bringing forward a range of proposals to stimulate a more
diversified and sustainable rural economy, including planning
Commenting on the proposals, Mo Mowlam said:
'Planning is one of the most important areas of regulation. It is
clear from the discussion, that there is scope for improving many
areas of the planning process and I am pleased to hear the positive
measures announced today by Nick Raynsford.'
1. DETR issued guidance to local authorities in December 1999 on
new arrangements for speeding up the preparation of local
authority development plans.
2. The Planning Users Concordat has been agreed between the Local
Government Association and the business and voluntary sectors
3. The Panel for Regulatory Accountability was set up in December
1999 with a remit to modernise the regulatory system, simplify
existing regulation and ease regulatory pressures on business and
the public sector.
4. Its membership includes:
Marjorie Mowlam Minister for the Cabinet Office
Lord Falconer Minister of State, Cabinet Office
Graham Stringer Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office
Stephen Byers Secretary of State, DTI
Andrew Smith Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Christopher Haskins Chair, Better Regulation Task Force
David Irwin Chief Executive, Small Business Service