Delay, cost and council demands are rural planning barriers

Rural planning applications have a 75% success rate compared with the national average of 88%, according to a CLA member survey.

Delays, additional costs and unrealistic demands from local authorities were among the chief complaints of the 380 members surveyed. One in four of their planning applications cost more than £25,000.

Barriers to housing and economic development in the countryside persist, despite Government efforts to make the planning system more streamlined and efficient, says the CLA.

See also: Almost half of PDR barn conversion applications rejected

Rural economic development was being stifled by a planning system that is costly, inconsistent and hard to navigate, said the organisation’s head of planning, Fenella Collins.

Results from the survey of 380 CLA members reveal:

  • a third said the main barrier to their planning application being submitted was a delay by the local authority, with another third saying the local planning authority demanded irrelevant or unrealistic reports or surveys
  • almost a quarter said the cost of producing the reports and surveys blocked development and another quarter said additional reports requested once the application was validated were another hurdle
  • fewer than one in six respondents experienced no major barriers during the planning application process
  • inconsistency from local authorities in the quality and usefulness of pre-application advice was an issue for around half of respondents who said the advice was not helpful in submitting a planning application

Most common types of application by CLA members

  • Residential development – 32%
  • Change of use of existing buildings to residential use – 15%
  • New farm/forestry building/structure/plant– 10.5%
  • Tourism enterprise – less than 8%
  • Application relating to listed building – 6%
  • Renewable energy – 6%
  • Change existing use of building to commercial – 3%

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