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Concern over third party rights of appeal

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) is raising concerns about the coalition Government’s current proposals to introduce third party rights of appeal.

With the ‘plan-led’ system continuing to fail to deliver core strategy documents and plans at anything like the rate expected when the new system was introduced in 2004, additional uncertainty and cost is the last thing the industry needs right now, says the MPA.

Simon van der Byl, the MPA’s executive director for public policy, said: ‘This proposal combines the developer’s twin nightmares of increased uncertainty and cost for no material gain. The current plan-led process takes full account of the views of local communities which are tested again once a planning application is submitted.’

According to the MPA, third party rights of appeal will add another layer of uncertainty into the planning process. An update of Association’s last survey of plan progress shows that less than 22% of core strategies are in place and less than 9% of plans which depend on them.

With the recent withdrawal of Regional Spatial Strategies, as the coalition develops its plans for a more ‘localist’ approach to the planning system, the compound effect is growing inertia in the planning system, as predicted by MPA over a year ago.

Mr van der Byl added: ‘The prospect of another step in what is already a demanding and expensive process may well deter developers from submitting applications in the first place, just at the time the economy needs the private sector to help bring on new development to support the recovery.’


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