Headlines: June 4th, 1998

The government has produced new guidelines for planners that contain a warning about rushing into print over planning issues. Planning and Development Briefs: A Guide to Better Practice, says that future use of planning briefs by local authorities will depend on planners being able to demonstrate that they are effective.

Commenting that in the past, some local authorities have prepared such briefs unnecessarily, the report urges that they are only drawn up when they provide a genuine stepping stone between an area’s development plan and an individual planning application.

The report also criticises the lack of evaluation of such plans in the past. It says planners must ensure that large-scale reports on development sites make the development process more efficient, achieve higher quality development and deliver good value for money. It says that monitoring the cost and effectiveness of their own planning briefs will help local authorities to allocate future resources to the task more appropriately