CLA welcomes Budget backing for planning reform but says legislation needed
The CLA today (23 March 2011) welcomed Chancellor George Osborne's Budget Speech commitment to reforming the planning system with a new National Planning Policy Framework but stressed that legislation will be needed.
The Association said it was "very pleased" Mr Osborne has said the Government will "introduce a new presumption in favour of sustainable development so that the default answer to development is 'yes'".
It is a move for which the CLA has long campaigned, and called for last year in its planning policy report, Planning for Change in the Countryside.
CLA President William Worsley said: "The Chancellor is absolutely right to make this commitment to enforcing a presumption in favour of sustainable development. However, unless it is included in a Bill it will not have legislative force.
"Done right, it would encourage necessary development in the countryside to help rural communities survive and thrive. We broadly welcome his expectation that all planning bodies will prioritise growth and jobs, and the removal of nationally imposed targets on the use of previously developed land."
Mr Worsley said it was right that the Chancellor had highlighted the substantial increase in the cost of the planning system over the past five years, its excessive bureaucracy, and promised a "12-month guarantee for the processing of all planning applications including any appeals".
The CLA President added: "Red tape should be cut, but the planning system also needs to be properly resourced. Without proper funding and the right legislation in place, the Chancellor's good intentions for the planning system will not become a reality."
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Christopher Price is the Director Policy and Advice at the CLA. He has overall responsibility for managing all the CLA's national policy and advisory work. He makes sure that the organisation's policy work is focused on what matters most, and that members' queries are dealt with accurately and efficiently. A planning and environmental lawyer by background, he joined the CLA as public law adviser in 2002. He became Chief Legal Advisor in 2007 and took up his current post a year later. Before coming to the CLA Christopher worked in local government for a number of different authorities.
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