Council invites peer review of its planning service

Victims of the district council’s planning system may be relieved to read that it is now to be reviewed by external people.

Statement from District Council

Representatives from the Local Government Association will undertake an independent review to help St Albans City and District Council improve its planning service.

Our planning service is the busiest of all District Councils in England, dealing with around 3,000 applications per year. 

Over the last few years, the service’s performance has improved significantly and it now exceeds government time targets for determining all types of planning applications. A challenge for the Council is to maintain this high level of performance into the future, as the economy recovers and if the number of applications increases.

To help with this, the Council last year invited the Local Government Association and the national Planning Advisory Service to look at the service and suggest further improvements. This review will take place between 11 and 13 February.

The review team will be led by Rob Cottrill, Chief Executive of Eastbourne Borough Council, and Councillor Neil Clarke, Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council. It will hold workshops with representatives of resident and amenity groups, local businesses, community organisations, customers and other partners, as well as District Councillors.It is anticipated that the recommendations of the review team will help the Council to:

  • Identify how our planning service can continue to improve its engagement with customers and stakeholders.
  • Identify how our planning service can best support the wider objectives of the Council, residents and businesses.
  • Benchmark what we do against other leading planning departments.

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