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‘Worst planning environment in a generation’, says land agents

Land agents Aston Mead say the current planning environment is the worst they have had to work in since their business was founded over 20 years ago. 

Aston Mead land & planning director Adam Hesse explained: “Without doubt, this is the worst planning environment we’ve had to face in a generation. The system was already unfit for purpose before Covid struck. But since then, three key factors have emerged to make a bad situation even worse. 

“Firstly, the biggest blow has come from the Government itself, with reports that it has scrapped plans for a standalone planning bill, which would have delivered many of the proposals in the white paper. Secondly, there are difficulties at the Local Authority level, who are finding every reason to kick the issue into the long grass. This means that the planning process has almost ground to a halt. 

“Finally, there are all the usual problems like underfunding and lack of staff. Added to which, we are still witnessing a public sector reluctance to get back to the office, which slams the brakes on even further. 

“Overall, this toxic combination of factors has created a perfect storm, where we now risk local plans having to be rewritten or more research carried out because the current evidence is out of date.”

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