Kirklees Council aims to encourage more developers to invest in the district and boost regeneration.

That’s a key focus of changes to the planning system which will streamline the process and save costs for the cash-strapped local authority.

In future the council will have fewer planning committees and has also changed the scheme of delegation around planning applications, which means that more decisions can be made outside of committees.

Instead of three separate planning committees, there will now be just two: a Strategic Planning Committee, focusing on major planning applications; and a District-Wide Planning Committee, focusing on minor and other household applications.

Applications will only be decided at one of these committees if they are a big departure from the Kirklees Local Plan, if public opinion is strongly against the planning officer’s recommendation, or if the planning application has been referred by a ward councillor. Each committee will meet in Huddersfield Town Hall once every six weeks.

These changes are all about making the council’s decision-making process more efficient, and will also save the council around £100,000 each year.

The council says that, in the long-term, these changes should also encourage more developers to consider sites within Kirklees for development.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: “We have big plans for regeneration across Kirklees over the coming years. To deliver this regeneration, we want to encourage new planning applications – without sacrificing quality or public engagement.

“We want to further improve our reputation as a good place to build and as a good local authority to partner with on development, and we want to speed up and streamline the whole process for local people too.

“Crucially, these more streamlined committees will still allow local communities to get involved with the planning process when an application matters to them.”