Housing Minister sets up local plan panel

Thu 1st October 2015, 11:33 am

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced he will be setting up a panel of experts to help local authorities develop local plans.

The panel will consist of eight planning experts, and will aim to reduce the time local authorities need to draw up a local plan, thereby speeding up the planning process benefitting developers and housebuilders who want to get their project on site.

The members of the panel are:

- John Rhodes of planning consultants Quod (chair)
- Adrian Penfold from developers 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, member for Henley
- Derek Stebbing, local authority plans manager for Chelmsford City Council

When the government launched its planning reforms in 2012, local authorities were obligated to publish local planning policies in a local plan.

At this stage, 33% of local authorities have yet to adopt their local plans.

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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