Wealden call for simpler planning rules

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Wealden planning portfolio holder Roy Galley wants ‘needless red tape’ culled from the Government’s planning process.

He believes ministers could do more to speed up the process and remove bureaucratic hurdles to economic growth - particularly in rural areas - by some simple changes.

He put his concerns to Secretary of State Eric Pickles and offered to provide more information from grass roots to help the department with reforms.

Suggestions include removing or reducing the need to consider detailed environmental aspects on small-scale developments, reviewing rules on small, single-storey home extensions in the AONB and relaxing advertising regulations for promoting businesses.

He also wants to see the time limit for considering small, domestic applications cut to six weeks and listed building consent and planning applications combined - at present they are treated separately.

He’s worried about bureaucracy surrounding the Local Plan process. After carrying out consultations with local people the council approved its Core Strategy local plan in November. It now faces a similar process to put in place more detailed local plan documents.

Cllr Galley said: “Currently the process is confusing to most, costly to many and causes unnecessary delay rather than certainty. I am keen to support the Government’s push towards greater efficiency, clarity and simplification in the planning process and believe implementing these changes could be beneficial for everyone as well as the wider economy,”