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Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Environmental Planning Advice: Jackie Doyle-Price MP replies
JACKIE DOYLE-PRICE MP
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A OAA
Dear Mr Corder-Birch
30 September 2016
You recently contacted me about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill.
Protecting our countryside, wildlife and historic sites from excessive and damaging development is a priority for this Government. Pre-commencement planning conditions provide an important fortification against overzealous developers. However, many councils are attaching conditions to planning permission with little regard to the reasonableness of the conditions. This is adding additional costs and delays. Developers are less likely to build out planning permissions if conditions are used at every opportunity to delay construction. Residents also suffer from uncertainty and frustration particularly if they have contributed to the local plan. The measures in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill will ensure that planning conditions are only imposed where absolutely necessary and councils will still be able to request archaeological and wildlife surveys. This will help tackle housing shortages by reducing delays in the delivery of new homes.
In most cases the applicant and local planning authority will reach agreement on what pre-commencement conditions should be imposed. In the unlikely event that an applicant refuses to accept a necessary pre-commencement condition, the local planning authority can refuse planning permission. It is important to note that the final decision on an application remains with the local planning authority.
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