The town and country Planning act should be repealed in part or reviewed majorly and a new start initiated. At the moment the act is far too complex and almost impossible for the average man in the street to understand. It gives powers to planners that seem arbitrary and totally subjective. Plans that would be passed by one planner may not necessarily get past another! This causes a great deal of frustration when your application for a small extension is turned down and next door gets permission to build Moonbase Alpha! And why do you have to put in retrospective planning permission for a structure that has stood for over 4 years that enforcement action cannot be taken against? What happens if the planners in their wisdom turn it down. It can't be enforced upon so what's the point? What can the planners do? wag their finger at you? Permission should be granted automatically once the 4 year period (with no complaints) is up. I appreciate the need for planning laws otherwise the country would be overrun with inappropriate structures but planners should be more consistent in their approval of planning applications.
Why is this idea important?
It would seem that the larger an organisation you are or the bigger the build planning is generally not an obstacle. If you are a private householder however, you can be put through hoops by the local authority over such minor details. This proposal is important because.
It would make the process easier and less costly.
The average householder would not have the worry of refusal as long as the right guidelines are followed.
There would be consistency and fairness in the process.
Planners would be accountable for their decisions