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Delays in UK planning are 'unacceptable'

Researchers at the universities of Cambridge and Reading have revealed that delays in the UK planning system are much greater than published performance data suggests, and called them “unacceptable”.

The findings are published in the latest issue of the ICE’s Urban Design and Planning journal.

A total of 180 applications for residential developments in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – where housing demand exceeds supply – were analysed.

The average time applications spent in the planning system was 58 weeks, with only 8% processed within the government’s 13-week target. But, official statistics for the local authorities involved suggest  60% met the target.

“Despite considerable resources and effort, the time taken to secure planning permission through the development control process remains unacceptably long,” said University of Cambridge professor of land economy Phil Allmendinger.

  • Abstracts of all papers can be read at

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