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Last edited 19 Jul 2016
Killian Pretty Review
The Killian Pretty Review, 'Planning applications: A faster and more responsive system' was published on 24 November 2008.
The review was announced in March 2008 and was jointly commissioned by Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and John Hutton MP, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. It was undertaken by Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of Essex County Council and David Pretty, retired Group Chief Executive of Barratt Developments PLC.
The overall objective was to modernise the planning system, looking specifically at how to make it less bureaucratic, faster and more effective. It followed the 2007 Planning White Paper 'Planning for a Sustainable Future', and subsequent Planning Bill.
Killian and Pretty found that people felt planning '…should be customer-focused, fair, proportionate and transparent. It should allow for local people to have a meaningful say. It should deliver the right decisions with appropriate speed.' suggesting that 10% of major developments were delayed by a year or more, and that permissions for small changes to property were a barrier to growth.
Five key areas of concern were identified:
- The proportionality of the system, in particular relating to the requirements for smaller-scale developments.
- Problems with the pre-application process and with discharging conditions.
- Some key parties, such as elected members and some statutory and non-statutory consultees, were not being involved effectively.
- The target culture was not effective.
- Legislation was too complex.
The review set out 17 recommendations:
- Measures for expanding the scope of permitted development for non-householder developments.
- Measures to reduce information and validation requirements (in particular for householders and minor developments).
- Measures to improve the advice available to users of the planning system.
- A range of improvements to pre-application discussions.
- Improvements to the processing of applications, including dissemination of the findings of the National Process Improvement Project.
- Measures to improve the way planning conditions are dealt with.
- Measures to improve the agreement of planning obligations.
- Proposals to find a simpler way of varying existing permissions.
- Measures to improve the involvement of statutory and non-statutory consultees.
- Measures to improve the engagement of elected members.
- Measures to improve the engagement of the local community.
- Measures to encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution.
- Measures to improve the standard of applications, including an accredited agents scheme for householders and minor developments.
- Addressing the shortage of resources and skills in local authority planning departments.
- Revisions to performance targets to include quality as well as time.
- Measures to avoid expansion of national policy objectives delivered through the planning system and duplication with other regimes.
- Measures to simplify the national planning policy framework and secondary planning legislation.
Killian and Pretty considered that their recommendations could remove 15,000 applications from the planning system altogether and simplify or speed up a further 16,500, resulting in savings or £300 million per year (ref DWF: The Killian Pretty Review).
The Review was broadly welcomed (see RTPI response, RIBA response and BPF response) and in March 2009 the Government published its response to the Killian Pretty Report suggesting that the need for action was urgent.
A further review, the Penfold Review, 'Review of non-planning consents' was published on July 18th 2010. Commissioned by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), Penfold's remit was '…to identify opportunities to deregulate (planning), as a means of supporting business investment in development…'. The review made a great number of recommendations, intended to '…increase certainty, speed up processes, reduce duplication and minimise costs', although it stopped short of recommending a unified consent.
In March 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF is commonly cited as having reduced planning policy from over 1000 pages to around 50 (although in fact, unless specifically revoked by the framework, existing policies remain effective). The NPPF dismantled the regional planning apparatus and introduced neighbourhood planning in order to create ' …. a framework within which local people and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive local and neighbourhood plans....'
In 2012, the coalition government commissioned the Taylor Report, a further review of the remaining planning policy guidance. Amongst other things, Lord Taylor said '...it is very clear that the old way of doing things is no longer fit for purpose. We have made recommendations for a modern web-based resource that is clear, up-to-date, coherent and easily usable, not just by planners and developers, but the public too.' A detailed review of individual pieces of planning guidance was also presented in the report along with proposals for changing or cancelling that guidance. Taylor suggested that the great majority of this work should be completed by July 2013
This rapid rate of change in the planning system has raised a number of concerns, with campaigners describing the transformation as giving the go ahead for a bonfire of planning rules, creating a charter for development and putting the countryside at risk.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Alternative dispute resolution.
- Charging for Listed Building Consent pre-application advice.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Planning conditions.
- Planning obligations.
- Planning permission.
- Penfold review.
- Permitted development.
- Planning policy replaced by the NPPF.
- Statutory authorities.
- Taylor Report.
 External references
- Gov.uk: Development Management: Proactive Planning from Pre-Application to Delivery - Consultation.
- Gov.uk: Improving the use and discharge of planning conditions: Consultation.
- Gov.uk: Improving engagement by statutory and non-statutory consultees: Consultation.
- Gov.uk: Publicity for planning applications: Summary of responses to consultation.
- RIBA Response to the Taylor review of Planning guidance.
- RTPI response.
- Government response to the Killian Pretty Report
- 2007 Planning White Paper: Planning for a Sustainable Future.
- National archive: first progress report 30 July 2009.
- National archive: second progress report 21 December 2009.
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