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London borough approves abolition of its regional planning committees

The London Borough of Redbridge agreed earlier this month to abolish regional planning committees.

The move will see the council’s chief planning officer given more authority to make decisions on some applications.

Redbridge’s regulatory committee will still determine larger applications, as well as those where there are a large number of objections or the application does not follow current policy.

The change is expected to save Redbridge £45,000 a year.

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Cllr Helen Coomb, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at Redbridge, said: "We have made the decision to abolish regional planning committees as we believe the planning process will work more effectively without them….

“Over the last few years, there has been a reduction in the number of regional planning committees needed and this, combined with changes to planning legislation, means there is much less need for them. A single committee also means there will be greater consistency in decision making across the borough.”

She added: “We don’t have exact figures, but we are aware that many other local authorities already operate a one committee system, like the proposal."

Cllr Coomb said the council had also also agreed to review the plans in six months’ time to see how they were working.

A report from the Borough Solicitor on the changes can be viewed here.

 

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