Former planning chief gives councils short shrift

 

It is unacceptable for local authorities to not have up to date Local Plans and their arguments against having them should be rejected, a planning expert has told MPs.

Katrine Sporle, a former chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, gave her opinion to the House of Lords National Policy for the Built Environment Select Committee.

As of this autumn, almost one in five councils did not have an up to date plan and of the 82% of councils that have published them, only 65% have fully adopted them.

”Local
The plan's the thing: 'No excuses' for local Hamlets

Another witness, Chris Shepley, a former chief planning inspector and chief executive of the planning inspectorate, said he did not see any current need to significantly to change the way in which the inspectorate operates.

However he bemoaned the fact that consultation by the Government with the inspectorate does not seem to be happening to the same extent that it did previously. This is despite the Government placing great emphasis on the need to improve theplannign system to boost productivity.

On recent issues dealing with wind farms, for example, planning inspectors were raising the question of the definition of the local communities whose views needed to be taken into account.

The inspectorate has useful experience of how policies are likely to working out in practice, he said.

Ms Sporle added that there are many areas in which inspectors' expertise could be made better use of but they felt that they had to keep themselves anonymous.

 

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