Council pleased with planning data

A major review of planning enforcement is set to get underway as Northumberland County Council looks to prevent unauthorised development and take a firm stance against those who breach conditions.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16 February, 2016, 11:10
County Hall, Morpeth, headquarters for Northumberland County Council.

It follows a successful review last year of the planning service which turned around the time taken to determine applications and also streamlined and improved the decision making process.

Councillor Allan Hepple, the council’s cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “Creating a high performing planning service has always been non-negotiable as we move into an exciting period of driving economic growth across the county.

“The service had underperformed for too many years in terms of planning so I’m delighted the six-month review has highlighted significant improvements in performance.

“This is in no small part down to the dedication and determination of staff who have turned things around.

“In terms of determining planning applications we have exceeded our targets in all categories.

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“It’s clear that the cumulative impact of our decisions and the initiatives brought in by the planning management team have had the desired impact on performance.”

The percentage of major planning applications determined within target has risen from 45% in 2013/14 to 79% since last year, with minor planning applications rising from 53% to 69% in the same period.

‘Other’ planning applications, which include those from individuals or householders have also gone from 77% to 92%.

A report into the six-month review of planning services will be discussed by the scrutiny committee on February 23 and presented to the council’s cabinet on March 21.