- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Dec 2016
Special measures designation for under-performing planning authorities
Section 62A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows certain applications to be made directly to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government where a local planning authority has been 'designated'.
The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 gave the Secretary of State power to 'designate' local planning authorities if their performance in handling major planning applications was below an acceptable standard.
- 30% or fewer of their decisions on major applications were made within the statutory determination period or such extended period agreed in writing with the applicant. The statutory period is 13 weeks, unless an application is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case it is 16 weeks. A major application is an application for 10 homes or more, or the equivalent commercial floorspace.
- More than 20% of major applications decisions were overturned on appeal.
Local planning authorities under special measures have applications determined by the planning inspectorate and lose a proportion of the application fee. Special measures designation is reviewed annually to allow improving authorities to regain their determination powers.
However, on 28 November 2014, in response to a consultation on the criteria for identifying under-performing planning authorities, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced its intention to raise the threshold for decisions on major applications from 30% to 40%. Ref Planning performance and planning contributions.
Then, on 24 August 2015, following publication of ‘Fixing the foundations’, the government formally revised the threshold again to 50 per cent. Ref Improving planning performance: criteria for designation. The government pointed out that up until that time, only three planning authorities had been subject to special measures and two of those had subsequently had their designation lifted.
In November 2016, the government published Improving planning performance Criteria for designation (revised 2016) Presented to Parliament pursuant to section 62B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This will increase the threshold for major projects to 60% and for non-major projects of 70%, but will also introduce a quality threshold of 10%. The quality threshold relates to the percentage of the total number of decisions made by the authority on applications that are then subsequently overturned at appeal. The criteria have effect from the day following the end of the statutory 40 day period during which Parliament may consider the measures, provided neither House resolves not to approve it.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
 External references
- DCLG, Improving planning performance Criteria for designation, June 2013.
- DCLG Planning performance and planning contributions 23 March 2014
Featured articles and news
Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust, explains why metro cities are the future of urbanisation.
From next week, UK firms can bid for a share of a £12.5m fund to boost productivity, performance and quality.
A right to light generally refers to the right to receive sufficient light through an opening.
Interference and compatibility - the effects of electromagnetic fields in the workplace.
Important action is being taken to inspire young people to train as engineers.
A survey of Leicester’s historic buildings resulted in local listing being taken more seriously.
Demolition is the most high risk activity in the construction sector. Read our introductory article here.
BSRIA report on the domestic boiler market, with China recording the most 'dynamic market uptake'.
Do we really know everything important about the impacts of our infrastructure projects? And if we don’t, does it matter?
Former Chief executive Richard Howson blames government for being 'poor payers'.