The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the Killian-Pretty review of planning applications, calling for simpler rules for small-scale development and encouraging the role of local design review panels.
Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the independent review is a call for solutions to the cumbersome planning application process. Consultation was open to all interested parties.
The Institute has consulted with members across the country to contribute their views on the RIBA's initial proposals over the summer.
Four key proposals were identified as a way of improving the planning application system:
8 week/13 week targets: The RIBA calls for greater flexibility in performance targets to enable local planning authorities to agree with applicants, in appropriate circumstances, limited extensions to the time allowed for a decision.
Small-scale development: A planning policy statement should be adopted which defines a presumption in favour of small-scale development within the development limits of built-up areas.
Information supporting planning applications: The requirements for supporting materials, such as design and access statements and environmental assessments, should not require excessive levels of detail for smaller scale projects.
Local Design Review Panels: Local panels should be available to all local authorities for pre-application peer and inter-professional design review.
Anna Scott-Marshall , Head of Public Affairs at the RIBA said:
"Anyone who has dealt with the planning system over a number of years will testify to its increasing complexity. This poses a problem both for individual householder applicants (who submit half of all planning applications) who can often feel lost in a complex process, and for higher impact major developments which require greater levels of skill, capacity, and public engagement. The RIBA supports a simplification of the decision process, especially by introducing clear and robust planning policies in respect of small-scale development, and to encourage the use of Local Design Review Panels to facilitate peer and coprofessional evaluation and advice on design. We look forward to working with the review team to ensure they take our proposals on board and submit them to the Government."