Today I am publishing a consultation document detailing proposals to simplify the process of applying for the stopping up or diversion of a highway, where this is required for the purpose of property development.
The Penfold review examined various development consents, additional to planning permission, which developers must apply for. It identified measures the Government could take to minimise the burden of complying with and administering these consents, while maintaining the essential benefits that they protect.
We propose to permit applications for a stopping up or diversion order to be submitted at the same time as applying for planning permission, whereas under existing legislation the developer can only apply after securing planning permission, and are consulting on options for devolving decision making to the local authority level.
These measures were committed to in the 2011 autumn statement and will help to deliver the Government’s growth agenda, by removing unnecessary burdens faced by businesses, speeding up the application process and removing unnecessary bureaucracy. They will play a useful role in encouraging investment and therefore growth in local communities.
Most of the policy options in the consultation will require primary legislation to amend the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as it applies to England. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, we intend to deliver this through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
The consultation document, including impact assessment, will be available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department’s website.