New Planning Mediation Service launched by the RICS

publication date: Nov 17, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a pan industry Planning Mediation Service which aims to reduce the deadlock between conflicting parties, alleviate the strain on the appeal process and help save money both for public authorities and applicants.

Led by the RICS Dispute Resolution Services, planning mediation will give people access to professional mediators in the planning system. According to the RICS, it has been developed in response to recommendations in the Killian Pretty Review*, to use mediation as a tool to speed up the planning process by resolving disputes quickly and amicably, and by encouraging dialogue and discouraging entrenched positioning.

The RICS say there are 20,000 planning appeals every year costing the planning system in the region of £30m. The service will help resolve issues, open up dialogue and reduce areas of disputes in a wide range of planning issues. It will also help smooth over disagreements surrounding section 106 agreements and compulsory purchase orders.

Commenting on the service, Martin Burns, Director of the RICS dispute resolution service said: “This service will provide both parties in a dispute some relief from what is a costly procedure for the local authority and for the appellant. Currently, the planning system is clogged up with combative appeals which more often than not result in a deadlocked situation. Mediation will provide a solution to this problem, save valuable time and improve transparency, speed and clarity in the planning process.”

The new dispute resolution service consists of four different tiers/service types, which an individual or company can choose depending on their specific requirements.

To find out more about this service, contact the Dispute Resolution Service via the RICS website or tel 0207 334 3806.

*The Killian Pretty review aimed to investigate opportunities for improving the planning application process The review was jointly commissioned by Communities and Local Government and Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Departments in March 2008 and published in late November 2008. It was carried out by Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of Essex County Council and David Pretty, recently retired Group Chief Executive of Barratt Developments plc.

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