Proposals for new hospitals to be delivered more speedily

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced unprecedented reforms to speed up the delivery hospitals and other NHS buildings.

A new fast track for public service buildings, including hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, and prisons, will be delivered more quickly through the planning system with a faster, more streamlined planning process.

Currently, these buildings can have small extensions without the need for a full planning application, but the new proposals will seek to help deliver more hospital space and classrooms by enabling them to extend further, faster. This means that, where a full planning application remains required, such as to build entirely new hospitals, the process will be streamlined to speed up local decision making so that work can continue at pace to deliver public services for the community.

Councils will need to make decisions on these important buildings as a priority and have a legal duty to decide major public service development applications within 10 weeks. Currently, some planning applications are left for many months without a decision.

Jenrick said: “The new fast track for public services makes it simpler and quicker to deliver the schools and hospitals we promised to build in our manifesto. We expect these vital buildings to be approved in weeks, not months and are reforming the planning system so it works for the NHS, our schools and other vital public services. Like the rest of the planning reforms, these changes will also help to protect and create thousands of jobs in the construction industry.”