Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs) have been around for a number of years now so it is interesting to see that there has been a rise in their use in recent years.
PPAs are increasingly requested by local planning authorities for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects on the basis that whilst they are not the decision makers in these applications, they still have a time/resource intensive role to play in these applications. Promoters agree- experience generally being that if you want a local authority to engage and respond quickly, you have to pay them to do so.
Over the past two years, the use of planning performance agreements (PPAs) – tools by which applicants can pay local authorities to ensure that their schemes are processed according to an agreed timetable – has increased rapidly. Latest planning statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) record a "marked increase" in the use of such deals. The figures show that while just six per cent of major decisions between April and June 2013 involved a performance agreement, the figure rose to 39 per cent between January and March this year (see infographic, below).