It is refreshing to see an article written by someone who has entered the opaque world of this country’s Planning System which, I hasten to add, is currently broken. Paula Mackenzie has no baggage or axe to grind, but has hit the nail on the head: Planning has become more bureaucratic, not less, with the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
However my greater concern is that Planning has now become too much of a lottery and equally, too expensive. At Engine Room, we have had a number of schemes given full support by planning officers only to be thrown out by planning committee members, with tens of thousands of pounds of client money wasted.
How can clients carry these costs with no certainty that schemes will be considered in a professional and non-political way? Quite simply, they can’t.
We desperately need a fresh approach to planning in the UK, which starts with greater professionalism demonstrated by those members sat on planning committees. This country cannot keep living in the past and holding back progress if we are to compete on a global stage.