Top 5 planning myths

alt tag goes here

News article

Top 5 planning myths

September 2011

planning & construction news

Top Five Planning Myths

In a campaign launched this week the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is aiming to dispel myths that have grown up around planning, and emphasise the true value of proper planning. Planning helps to shape the places where people live and work but can be unfairly characterised as a barrier to growth and progress.  The Fisher German Planning Team have provided comment on these Top 5 Myths. 
 
Myth 1: The Default Response to a Planning Application is “No” 

The Government wants to change the planning system “so that the default answer to development is “yes” (Plan for Growth, HM Treasury, March 2011). 
 
Government statistics show that for at least a decade over 80% of planning applications have been granted – higher (around 90%) for the major commercial applications. In addition, the RTPI states that countless changes of use and small developments take place without the need to apply for planning permission. 
 
The Fisher German Planning team have a success rate of over 95% for achieving planning permission for clients which stands notably higher that the national average.
 
Myth 2: Planning is Slow
 
The current debate on planning has talked of “the town hall officials who take forever with those planning decisions" and “a slow and prescriptive planning regime”. Planning Minister Greg Clark has committed to “speeding up applications that get stuck in the system.” 
 
The RTPI advises that Councils on a whole meet or exceed the 8 or 13 week targets set for them by the Government, with only 0.7% of planning applications taking longer than 12 months to reach a decision. 
 
The time that councils take to determine planning applications is not always in line with the statutory period; however the experience within the Fisher German Planning Team has found that robust pre-application discussions can smooth the process keeping applications on track.
 
Myth 3: Planning is Costly 
 
Government statistics suggest that planning costs £2bn  more a year, than 5 years ago despite a reduction in applications submitted. While most in the industry agree with the principle of planning application fees, many believe the overall cost of making an application is too high, especially with current information requirements and the need to pay for infrastructure. 
 
The RTPI states that planning now costs less to council tax payers and employs fewer people. It asserts that application fees are tiny compared to the potential profits of development.  The RTPI considers that planning obligations (“section 106 agreements”) ensure that harm arising from development is mitigated and that the development supports the delivery of necessary infrastructure.  The RTPI advises that the planning obligation payments are therefore in the developers interests; enabling applications to be approved. 
 
Fisher German aim to provide an efficient value for money service with planning applications.  Where additional information is requested by councils, the Team will seek to minimise both the amount of work and cost.  We have also succeeded in reducing unjustified planning contributions associated with large developments, saving the client several hundred thousand pounds.
 
Myth 4: Planning is a Drag on Economic Growth 
 
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has described the planning system as a “drag anchor” on growth, while the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills has talked of the distortions on the market of a “slow and prescriptive planning regime.” 
 
Certainties provided by the planning system such as the knowledge that there will be customers and a workforce, that infrastructure will be provided, and that other developments would not be allowed that would prejudice a business’s investment are considered essential in supporting business investment decisions. Unconstrained growth is not in the interests of business.  In 2003, the Select Committee Inquiry into Planning and Competitiveness, advised that “Claims that planning damages the nation's competitiveness seem to have been made without evidence. The evidence that we have received suggests that businesses generally support the planning system and seek a number of changes in implementation, which do not necessarily require legislation.” 
 
Engagement in the planning process is essential to maximise development potential and understanding the system can open avenues which cut through the red tape and bring forward development at a faster pace.  The Planning Team at Fisher German have successfully steered residential developments through the system which had been written off for 10+ years by others.
 
Myth 5: Planning Forces House Prices Up 
 
According to the Director of think‐tank The Policy Exchange, in a Telegraph blog, “Land in Britain is made scarce and expensive by some of the world’s tightest planning laws… It also pushes up your rent or mortgage, and jacks up the bill for housing benefit.” 
 
House price inflation is not solely the result of a lack of housebuilding: the Barker Review found that the effect was marginal taking into account the other determinants of supply and price, i.e. the availability of finance and demand.  The private sector has only ever been able to contribute around 150,000 ‐ 200,000 new homes a year across Great Britain. The current slump in housebuilding is the result of a lack of finance, both for homebuyers and housebuilders, prevalent since the “credit crunch”. 
 
The need for a deliverable 5 year housing land supply is an argument successfully made to justify the release of a Green Wedge site for a client in Leicestershire, achieving a land sale value in excess of £5 million.
latest news

latest news

alt tag goes here
alt tag goes here
forthcoming events

forthcoming events

alt tag goes here
Lorem ipsum
Copyright © 2015 Fisher German    All rights reserved   |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map   |    Accessibility                                                            Created by Supadü
alt tag goes here
Site Search
Awards logo - winner
facebook-social-icon
facebook-social-icon