Boston Borough Council have announced changes to their validation process for planning applications, aimed at supporting applicants, reducing costs associated with the process and supporting applications to come forward.

The Borough Council will revert to following national standards for application validation, with their existing local validation list becoming a guidance document for those submitting a planning application, rather than formal requirement. The local list was adopted in early 2019, however, following feedback over the past two years, the Council have decided to move back to national standards from April 1, 2021.

It is hoped the changes will support applications coming forward by ensuring that applicants are not put to undue expense, whilst the new guidance document will continue to support developers in submitting good quality applications, leading to a reduction in application processing times. The Council believe the move will ensure that they continue to receive the requisite information (proportionate to the proposal) to enable informed decision making, whilst avoiding unnecessary provision of information which can sometimes be costly and have limited bearing on the assessment of the proposal.

Assistant Director for Planning, Mike Gildersleeves, said: “In making these changes we’re looking to achieve a balance between avoiding unnecessary expense and maintaining quality submissions which ensure we have sufficient information to make a decision on proposals. The changes will also help us as we aim to increase the number of valid applications we receive, whilst the guidance document will provide advice to ensure that we have sufficient information before us to enable accurate assessment of proposals and an efficient resolution for applicants.

“In addition, officers will continue to work proactively with applicants and agents throughout the planning process to ensure that we are able to make informed decisions and to seek to provide solutions where possible. We will also continue to offer and encourage use of our pre-application services which can be useful to establish what information is likely to be required to accompany an application, as a further means of avoiding unnecessary costs. In combination, these measures aim to support development across the borough which can provide a boost for the area as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”