Fast track planning to boost house building

Councils are set to process planning applications quicker and be able to offer fast track application services which will boost house builders.

Ministers want the pilots to tackle the lack of incentive for councils to improve and speed up their planning service leading to “drawn out applications and local frustration” for both housebuilders and individual applicants.

The proposals are expected to boost housebuilding and speed up the planning application process.

The proposals will increase local choice 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.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Council planning departments play a vital role in getting local housebuilding off the ground, but for too long they have had no incentive to get things done quickly or better, resulting in drawn out applications and local frustration.

These proposals will be a first time boost for housebuilders looking to build much needed new homes for hard working families and buyers, and for local people looking to get a planning permission for home improvements through their local council quicker.”

Federation of Master Builders Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “The slow processing of planning applications remains one of the greatest barriers to building more new homes.

We welcome the government’s determination to find new and innovative ways of addressing this problem as it could help builders deliver more homes.”