Decision details

Householder Planning Application Protocol (to follow)

Decision Maker: Scrutiny Commission

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

Considered - Presentation of the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager. 

 

The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager provided a recap on the previous discussion on 27 November 2019 surrounding this item. The protocol was discussed due to customer concerns about the inability to call in householder applications. Therefore members agreed to develop a trial scheme where an independent check by the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager is made when a case is raised by a Member relating to a householder application.

 

The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager explained to members how the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the volume of household planning applications, with 70% of applications between November – February being household. This then has led to a backlog of applications which the planning department are working through. Therefore, it was suggested that members discuss the possible outcomes of the protocol including how this could influence customer behaviour.

 

The Chairman queried whether there are any current issues with the existing protocol that members needed to be aware of.

 

The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager advised members that they were comfortable with the existing protocol and that it is not the right time to amend or discuss this as it could lead to customers using it in the wrong way, causing an increase in workload for the team.

 

Cllr. David Findlay expressed concerns over a possible backlog of applications this may cause.

 

The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager assured members that 100% of major applications have been completed in the correct time frame, as well as 90% of Householder applications being completed, so there should be no cause for concern. The Planning & Economic Group Manager also advised members that they have a job advert for a new senior planning officer about to be published which will be funded by external funding through a planning performance agreement. In addition, the department has been securing help through external planning officers on short-term, temporary contracts.

 

The Chairman suggested a 6 month delay of any amendment or discussion by the Scrutiny Commission of the protocol due to the possible implications this could have in relation to workload for officers and members. The Chairman and fellow members agreed that due to the circumstances surrounding the covid-19 pandemic, this what not the correct time to review the protocol.

Report author: Cat Hartley

Publication date: 28/05/2021

Date of decision: 21/04/2021

Decided at meeting: 21/04/2021 - Scrutiny Commission