Councils will be expected to compete to process planning applications and offer fast-track application services, such as those available for getting a passport, in a shake up of the planning process.
Ministers want pilots to tackle the lack of incentives for councils to improve and speed-up their planning services by giving applicants the choice of whether to submit their plans to the local council, a competing council or a government approved organisation that would process applications up until the decision point. Decision making on planning applications would remain with the local council.
A consultation on the pilots and fast-track services has been published alongside other proposed measures as follows:
•details of how a new planning “permission in principle” approach will work in practice
•how councils will run brownfield land and small sites’ registers
•speeding up the neighbourhood planning process
•improving handling of planning applications with new thresholds for designating councils as poor performers
•extending permitted development rights for free schools