Government changes support right first-time approach to planning

Impending changes to the way the planning system operates should support a right first-time approach according to Cllr Bill Hunt, chair of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee.

New government regulations, to be brought in on 6 December 2023, mean that anyone bringing forward a planning application is advised to make sure it meets all planning policies and requirements before it is submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning department.

Previously, if a planning application was refused by the council, would-be developers were allowed to submit a second application free of charge within a year of the determination.

Cllr Hunt explained: “Previously if a planning application was turned down by the planning department or the planning committee, a second application could be submitted at no extra cost. In reality this meant some applications were coming before the council that did not meet all of the planning policies and guidelines, and this was creating extra work for developers, council officers and members of the planning committee, and incurring extra costs in terms of the amount of resources required to resolve the issues.

“The new government legislation is driving a right first-time approach and should encourage applicants to use our pre-application service to assist in achieving the right scheme before a planning application is submitted.

“It should then be a simple case of either approving or turning down the application.”

If an application is subsequently refused by the council, developers still have the option of formally appealing the planning decision at no cost.