The Local Government Association has responded to proposals by the Government to speed up the planning system as part of an Accelerated Planning Green Paper.
The Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, said: “It is good that the Government recognises our call for council planning departments to be given greater resources if they are to ensure applications are processed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“The Accelerated Planning Green Paper needs to include allowing councils to be able to set their own planning fees, with taxpayers currently having to subsidise the costs of planning applications by around £200m a year.
“The planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding — with councils approving nine in 10 applications, and the majority processed quickly while hundreds of thousands of homes have been given planning permission but are yet to be built.
“If we are to get the country building the affordable high-quality homes it desperately needs, then councils need to be able to play a leading role. The last time this country built homes at the scale that we need now was in the 1970s when councils built more than 40% of them.
“Scrapping the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap was a big step forward, but government now needs to go further in the Spending Review by devolving Right to Buy so councils retain 100% of their receipts to reinvest in new homes, and can set discounts locally.”