Sunday, June 16, 2024

Farmers fear changes aimed at speeding planning process will have opposite effect

Changes to the planning process for commercial developments could see more applications being refused and lengthy appeals taking place, says the National Farmers’ Union.

The NFU is opposing Government proposals aimed at speeding up the planning service, believing the proposals to be unsympathetic to resourcing and workload pressures already experienced by local authorities, which it says have suffered major budget reductions since 2011.

A spokesman for the NFU said: “It may at first seem strange for the NFU to oppose reforms to reduce determination time in the planning system, but the impacts, if proposals are implemented, will be far reaching.

“The proposals will lead to local authorities refusing more applications to produce a decision in time, in turn leading to more appeals, which are often expensive and controversial. There is no assurance that the quality of decision making will be protected, as corners may have to be cut with authorities pressured to work at speed.

“Local authorities simply do not have the budgets or resources to properly ensure that they can deliver their required planning services. The government’s current proposals will not offer local authorities the support they need.”

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