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London First suggests measures to speed up planning decisions

In the last Autumn Statement the Government committed to consult on measures to speed up Section 106 (s106) agreements, to deliver a faster planning system. The Government has now responded to the consultation questions.

London First is very supportive of the Government’s proposals to amend guidance to address the s106 delays and we have suggested a series of measures which we believe would help speed up agreement.

In addition we have asked for the Government to devolve s106 referrals to the Mayor of London by making changes to the Mayor of London Order 2008 (which doesn’t need primary legislation). This would only be for planning applications that are referable to the Mayor.

We think that by having the option to refer a s106 agreement to the Mayor it would help to incentivise the London boroughs to resolve s106 agreements in a timely manner.

We do however, remain cautious about introducing a dispute resolution service (DRS) which would add an additional layer of bureaucracy. A DRS could delay and add additional costs to approving a s106 agreement which would run contrary to the objective to speeding up the existing process. A decision to apply a DRS system will be considered post-election.

London First members are meeting with the Communities and Local Government lead director Jane Everton to run through our detailed position as further changes are proposed.

If you would like to know more, please contact Faraz Baber, fbaber@londonfirst.co.uk

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