Council planners are best in the country
09th April 2015
Last week the Government published the most recent statistics for speed of decision-making on both major and minor planning applications over the past 24 months (ending December 2014). Three Rivers District Council continues to maintain its high performance and is now the top district authority in the country for speed of decision making on major applications. This is out of 337 authorities in total.
This is an improvement on the Council’s results from last year, moving from fourth to first place. Three Rivers is also performing well in terms of speed of decisions on minor applications and the Council is currently seventh in the country.
The Government has made changes to planning legislation and has argued that these are necessary to encourage economic development and to get local authorities to improve their performance in dealing with planning applications. ‘Special measures’ have been announced, allowing developers to bypass their local planning departments and tables of poorly performing authorities highlighted. At the same time, tables of ‘top performers’ have been produced and Three Rivers’ record gives it protection against the risk of inspectors’ interference.
Claire Westwood, area team leader for Three Rivers, said:
“While speed is only one indicator of our performance as a planning authority, the quality of our decision making also continues to be sound with only 0.6% of our minor application decisions being overturned at appeal and no major application decisions being overturned at appeal. This represents excellent performance given the Council’s resources and workloads.”