Planning applications in England fall by up to 50%
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by Lin Freestone
The Planning Officersâ€™ Society has made a national snapshot of the impact of the economic downturn with regard to the number of planning applications received by local authorities.
The survey, which covers new housing, commercial buildings and domestic planning applications such as extensions, shows that some local authorities have seen new planning applications fall by between 40% and 50%.
The society represents the most senior professionals and managers of planning functions in the English local authorities. It is concerned that the fall in activity may lead to councils laying off planning staff as a result of the knock on impact for fee income.
The president of the society considers that rather than making cuts, local authorities should consider redeploying planners to provide the spatial planning policy framework which will be essential to aid the recovery when it happens.
The society’s aim is to ensure that planning makes a major contribution to achieving sustainable developments, from national to local level, in ways, which are fair and equitable. It acts as an advocate and promoter of local government planning, and assists and advises the government and the Local Government Association on planning matters and related issues.
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