Planning applications building up
07th June 2010
40 planning agents attend June forum
The number of new planning applications received is up 5% compared to same period this time last year (514 between 1st January and 31st May 2010 to 490 between 1st January and 31st May 2009).
The number of decisions issued has also risen from 388 to 428 over the same period. Staffing levels have not increased.
Applications are anticipated to keep rising as the market continues to recover.
There was a great turnout, with over forty planning agents in attendance, at the Three Rivers 2010 Agents Forum (27 May) to hear how the Development Management & Development Plans Sections work, how changing legislation is interpreted locally and to receive advice on how to improve their planning applications.
In addition to talks from Council officers there were representatives from the Environment Agency, Herts Highways, Herts Biological Records, the Planning Portal, the County Council Building Futures team and the ECSC who are promoting the C-Plan (carbon planning) toolkit as part of the Council's sustainability focus.
Planning agents were also reminded that they are only part of the equation with planners also dealing with the neighbours to proposed development, residents & amenity associations, statutory consultees and Councillors.
The immediate feedback from the forum was very positive with delegates stating it was very informative and gave them the opportunity to get their points across as well as give praise to staff for their approachable manner and willingness to respond to pre-application submissions.
Suggestions for improvements to the Council's website were made and a list of actions drawn up as a result of the Question and Answer sessions.