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Council announces planning overhaul

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

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EAST Staffordshire Borough Council has announced that it will be at the forefront of a new initiative to improve the planning process.

The authority, in conjunction with the Great Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), has made the grand plea in response to Lord Heseltine’s recent report on economic growth, ‘No Stone Unturned’.

The work is part of a wider programme being undertaken by the GBSLEP to provide an understanding of the economic benefit contained within implementing the recommendations laid out in the report.

The council as a planning authority is set to devise a procedure whereby any planning application still undecided after its determination period will have clear and unbiased information published as to what the issues causing the delay are.

This will help all parties to understand what is standing in the way of a decision. It will have the positive effect of galvanising both planning authorities and statutory consultees.

Andy O’Brien, chief executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “By having a clear and unbiased statement of where delays are being caused in planning applications we’ll be in a better position to encourage and support those who are delaying applications to speed up their activity.”

The release of this information will allow for some important data to be collated about agencies and organisations who are making planning applications.

This is being done mainly to identify the total amount of delay they have accumulated in the past.

Andy Street, chairman of the GBSLEP, said: “With the exception of massive and complex projects, most planning applications do not always involve very many contentious issues.

“There are, however, a portion of applications that become delayed. This can, on occasions, have a detrimental effect on the local economy.”

“I fully support the work being undertaken by East Staffordshire Borough Council inside the GBSLEP to deliver a process which identifies where and how delays are being caused.”

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