The period before a repeat application can be lodged has been extended from 2 to 5 years. We have made a start on getting a purpose for planning. It would have been nice if the statement of purpose had covered the whole of the planning system, but fears of litigation meant the Government limited the scope of the purpose to cover development planning, but not development management. We now have a guarantee to review Local Place Plans in 7 years time. Though not specifically stated that this will include a review of appeals, it will be an opportunity to raise the issue again. Two additional pluses have been that planning decisions are now required to be accompanied by a statement that outlines whether the planning authority considers its decision to be in accordance with the development plan and that the National Planning Framework will undergo greater parliamentary scrutiny and is required to be passed by Parliament. On the face of it not a lot to be pleased about, but the question is what would the Bill have looked like if we hadn’t put up such a rigorous challenge? For more information Cliff Hague has written an excellent piece which shows how the planning legislation has been “tweaked”, his views generally echo our sentiments about the bill.

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