Minister brings in expert panel to speed up local plans

Planning minister Brandon Lewis has established a panel of experts to help streamline the local plan-making process. The eight-strong panel has been tasked with looking at how the process can be simplified, with the aim of cutting the amount of time it takes for local authorities to get local plans in place.

To date, 82% of local authorities (276) have published local plans and 64% (216) have adopted them. Councils have until 2017 to produce their local plans.

Panel members are:

  • Chair John Rhodes of planning consultant Quod
  • Adrian Penfold from developer British Land
  • Richard Harwood QC from legal firm 39 Essex Chambers
  • Councillor Toby Elliott from Swindon Borough Council
  • Keith Holland, a retired Senior Planning Inspector
  • Liz Peace, formerly of the British Property Federation
  • John Howell, MP for Henley
  • Derek Stebbing, local authority plans manager for Chelmsford City Council.

Brandon Lewis said: “It’s fair to say the process of getting local plans in place can sometimes be lengthy and complicated.

“That’s why we’ve brought together this panel of experts to help look at ways to streamline the process. Their first-class advice will help councils push on and deliver the homes and infrastructure that their communities need.”

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