Call for an easier planning process

A district councillor is calling for less bureaucracy in the planning process.

Cllr Roy Galley wants communities secretary Eric Pickles to do more to remove the “needless red tape” surrounding the planning process.

The cabinet member for planning and development at Wealden District Council, wants a number of key issues relaxed, abolished or simplified.

These include: remove or reduce the need to consider detailed environmental aspects of small scale domestic and business developments; review the rules on small domestic single storey extensions within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; relax advertising regulations for promoting business for a limited period of time; cut the time limit for considering small domestic applications to six weeks; and combine Listed Building Consent and planning applications as one application.

Cllr Galley said: “Despite government attempts to simplify the planning process and help get the local economy moving, our hands are still tied by unnecessary regulations. The Department for Communities and Local Government could do much to speed up the planning process and remove the bureaucratic hurdles to economic growth, particularly in rural areas, by some simple changes.”

He added: “I have become increasingly aware of a number of growing frustrations with the existing arrangements. I am keen to support the government’s push towards greater efficiency, clarity and simplification in the planning process and believe that implementation of these changes could be beneficial for everyone .”