Planning department is top performer

Kevin Snow15th August 2013

Three Rivers District Council Planning Department has been listed as a ‘top performer’ by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Three Rivers planning department came second in the country for being a fast decision-maker for major planning applications over the past two years and was the thirteenth least overruled authority in 2011/12 for planning appeals, proving the soundness of decisions made in Three Rivers. No other Hertfordshire authority featured in the top 25 performers for either category.  

The figures are based on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s official quarterly planning application statistics over the past two years. These results have been published nationally in ‘Planning’ magazine .   The results reflect the consistent hard work carried out by the Three Rivers development management team and Planning Committee Councillors.

trdc-planners.jpgLocal Planning Officers are under significant pressure to process planning applications and appeals in a timely manner while  maintaining a high quality of decisions and customer focus.

The Government has made many changes to planning legislation in recent times and has stated 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 by applying straight to a separate Government department known as the Planning Inspectorate, and tables of poorly performing authorities highlighted.

Chair of the Three Rivers Planning Committee, Chris Whately-Smith, said:

"Residents rightly expect that the District Council makes careful, fair and timely planning decisions. These high results have been achieved through the hard work of a highly skilled and experienced team of professional planning officers and well informed Councillors."

Planning officers are supported through training including day release courses to study for a Masters degree in Town Planning and an Assessment of Professional Competence to gain membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Three Rivers planning department has efficient working practices and processes which Development Management officers strive to continually improve.

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