Repeal of the week

We should repeal all validation requirements other than those relating to a completed standard application form (no local bespoke forms with onerous requirements please), an OS based plan and a fee.  All validation lists should be abolished entirely. 

Too often applications are not validated quickly because of spurious arguments about the need for additional material.  Although applicants can now appeal if they think that LPA requirements are too onerous that causes cost and delay.  Why not simplify matters further so that the responsibility is on the applicant to identify what is needed and to submit it?  In many cases that will be done through pre-application discussions.  In others it will be the exercise of common sense.  If necessary information is identified by the LPA they can ask for it.  They already have legal powers to require further material to be provided.  If the information is not provided then the application should be refused if it genuinely goes to the heart of the ability to grant consent.

Let’s put this in context.  LB Camden are consulting on extending their validation list https://consultations.wearecamden.org/culture-environment/revised-local-area-requirements-for-planning-appli/consult_view .  The revised draft is 28 pages long. Much of it is sensible but should the absence of a crime impact assessment really lead to a refusal to validate all major applications, regardless of the nature of the development?  In some respects the draft list is just wrong-headed.  A CIL assessment form is proposed to be a validation requirement.  Why?  The CIL process is a different regime and there are powers under the CIL regulations in relation to calculation, enforcement and payment.  The planning application process should not be burdened with such an unnecessary requirement.

It would be easier, quicker and more efficient just to rid ourselves of validation requirements entirely returning to the simple position that if an application is submitted it is determined on the basis of the information provided.

Stephen Ashworth

About Stephen Ashworth

Stephen advises in the field of planning, public and regulatory law. His practice concentrates on regeneration, residential, urban extensions/ garden villages and settlements, and infrastructure projects working for both the private and public sectors.

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