Resources in the planning system

(Idea gathered from contributions from Motherwell event)

Some queried whether the planning system was adequately resourced. For example, some questioned how easy it is to speak to developers face to face. Some felt that an increase in planning fees might be welcomed if services were improved and resources increased.

 

Why the contribution is important

(noted above)

by ScotParlModerator on February 20, 2018 at 06:09PM

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Comments

  • Posted by davesutto February 22, 2018 at 17:47

    With 2012 (residential) and 2915 (business) PD changes we are just starting to realise the severe loss of planning staff. Cutting Strategic Planning will lead to further cuts. That is why we need a Register of the Expertise used by the Council Planning Dept - who advises on structural or fire issues? On heritage? On design? Councils should be encouraged to employ, share, or buy in the required expertise (as we have seen w archaeology). But at present they get away with very general knowledge - and often lack the skills to assess complex environmental or design issues.
  • Posted by IngaBullen February 27, 2018 at 15:51

    Adequate resourcing is important. Councils starved of funding may not have adequate funding. Planning provides a public service, we should be wary of it being funded by applicant's fees as they may "own" the service. However, the rise in land value that planning permission "gifts" could be used for the public good.
  • Posted by ddpeeps February 28, 2018 at 18:09

    I don't think planning department is anywhere near adequately resourced nor does there seem to be any expertise and Councillors vote/make decisions with spare, or indeed any, knowledge about planning. Resources are vital to address this major issue.
  • Posted by davesutto March 01, 2018 at 07:24

    Interesting that neither HoPS or CoSLA were called to Finance Committee on 28th Feb. So no sense of the real budget cuts to planning that are taking place. Silly assumptions that the cuts in Strategic Planning will somehow be re-allocated to make planning better! The reality being that if it’s not legally required - it will be cut.
  • Posted by graemepatrick March 01, 2018 at 10:34

    The 0.5% of local authority budgets which are directed to support the planning service are being cut by politicians despite the fact that planning fee income has increased significantly due to the increases in planning fees over the past 5 years.

    The cost of lodging a major residential application has increased significantly over recent years. Where previously £20,000 was the maximum fee, this is now the minimum!

    So, what are developers getting for their money? Well, I can tell you straight away it is not going to be a better resourced planning system. Midlothian Council’s most recent budget assessment proposes the deletion of two planning posts which they admit will lead to delays in the determination of planning applications.

    With regards the issue of performance, analysis of the Planning Performance Statistics show that the number of determinations has declined from over 56,000 in 2006/07 to just over 41,000 in 2010/11 and around 27,000 in 2016/17. This indicates a significant fall in development management productivity and it certainly confirms my own view that despite having to pay larger fees to lodge a planning application, securing planning permission today just takes so much longer.
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