Summary and implications

The Government-led Penfold Review was launched in December, with a deadline for industry to contribute by 10 February 2010.


The review is examining how to streamline the process for obtaining consents which do not form part of the planning process. The time presently taken to obtain such consents is perceived to cause delay and uncertainty and impact upon investment. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, (BIS), has called for evidence, with a view to identifying barriers and delays in the consent process. They are seeking input from industry representatives, private sector developers, Local Authorities and regulatory bodies.

Scope of the review

Non-planning consents covered by the review include:

  • environmental permits and hazardous substances consents;
  • compulsory purchase orders;
  • listed building and conservation area consents;
  • highways consents; and
  • building regulation consents.

BIS wishes to gather evidence on the operation of the consent process in practice, and how processes can be improved, (identifying any particular barriers to investment, including the costs, uncertainty and timescales for obtaining consents). It will examine opportunities to streamline the process and encourage regulatory and other agencies to work together.

Remember – the closing date for submissions to is 10 February 2010.