The Law Society’s planning and environmental law committee joined forces with the City of London Law Society (CLLS) to respond the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) technical consultation on the planning elements of the Housing and Planning Bill.

The consultation posed scores of questions on diverse proposals, including new forms of planning permission, creation of neighbourhood and local plans, introducing competition for application processing, and section 106 disputes.

The DCLG reportedly said it was ‘keen’ to explore competition in the processing of planning applications to ensure the process ‘is resourced in a way that allows an efficient and effective service to be provided’.

In its response, the Law Society and the CLLS said planning consultancies and legal advisers who are able to demonstrate ‘sufficient’ expertise should be able to compete to process minor planning applications.

Responses to the consultation will inform the detail of the secondary legislation to be prepared once the bill gains royal assent.