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Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Barker review round-up
Wow, it's been so over-previewed that I had a strange sense of deja-vue when it actually came out. But if you have avoided, so far, the welter of breathless journalism, this is basically what it said: Less Planning.

Extend permitted development rights for minor house extensions/alterations, microgeneration and other small things.

A more 'risk-based' approach and less paperwork required to support applications.

Relaxation of use classes to enable more mixed-use designation and easier change of use

Less time taken preparing LDFs - aiming for 18-24 months, not the current 36-42.

Faster processing of planning appeals, a new mediation service and a major reduction in the number of schemes called-in by ministers.

And most ambiguously, encouragement for authorities to 'review' green belt designations to ensure a sufficient supply of land, although the report also strongly supports the principle of town centre-first development.

A national planning commission to examine 'strategic' proposals such as major infrastructure, transport and power generation projects.

Some comment: Guardian leader, BBC, Simon Jenkins rant (surprise), Centre for Cities, inevitable CPRE response...oh, just do a
But then, the report came before today's pre-Budget speech which also tried to out-Cameron Cameron on the green front...which will be the subject of the next post here.

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