Fast-track for planning disputes has limited impact

The plans announced in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill to fast-track infrastructure-related planning disputes through a new specialist court are a welcome move for developers, but may have limited impact, according to national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

Stephen Hemming, Regional Director for Planning & Development at LSH, commented: “This is the latest example of the Government trying to speed up disputed planning applications and is good news for developers, funders and local authorities.

“We have seen many cases where big infrastructure projects have been delayed by third party legal challenges, creating unnecessary delays at the expense of the taxpayer. Any government action to bring swifter reviews of legal challenges is welcomed, and will allow approved infrastructure projects to continue with certainty of timing, while creating jobs and a potential kick-start to local economies.

“However, the reality is that infrastructure-related projects represent only a minority of cases referred to judicial review, so it is hard to see the proposals having much impact on the system as a whole.”