3 Jun

Planning process to be opened to homeowners

Planning process to be opened to homeowners

Homeowners could soon be able to play a greater part in the planning process, following an announcement that the Planning Aid scheme is set to be extended.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears said that if the proposal passes successfully through Parliament, the public will have "a fairer say" in planning issues.

Planning Aid works in collaboration with community groups, as well as individuals, to help ensure stronger communication about the process.

"We need also to do more to support local communities and individuals, particularly those least able to put forward their case, with the advice and skills they need to engage effectively," said Ms Blears.

She added that funding for Planning Aid will increase to £4.1 million in 2009-10 and £4.5 million in 2010-11 to help towards this end.

Last month, the Department of Communities and Local Government announced that the Planning Inspectorate had increased the proportion of key performance targets it met by 25 per cent in 2007-08.

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