District Councils’ Network Responds to Planning Proposals

Responding to the Government’s planning proposals announced today by the Housing Secretary, Cllr Mark Crane, District Councils’ Network lead member for stronger economies, said:

“Reforming planning fees is an opportunity to resolve the significant under-resourcing of council planning teams. We believe councils should be able to set these locally to cover the cost of processing applications.

“We are clear however that endless meddling with the planning system will not tackle the housing crisis and build much-needed homes.

“We have significant concerns with proposals to extend permitted development rights for upward extensions so that developers can avoid paying what they owe for local infrastructure and for local affordable homes.

“Districts continue to grant 9 in 10 planning permissions, while tens of thousands of homes with planning permission remain unbuilt – the housing delivery system is broken, not the planning system.

“Councils need to be given the powers to build homes again, including allowing them to keep the receipts of Right to Buy sales in full.”