The Brighton and Hove Conservative Group on the city council called for a fundamental review of how planning applications are dealt at the full council meeting held last on Thursday.
Group leader Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald asked the council to look “at all potential options” for future management of the planning service stating “the ongoing problems in providing an efficient and effective planning service risks damaging relations with residents, businesses, and potential investors in the city”.
Cllr Theobald highlighted the termination of face-to-face appointments and pre-application advice to businesses and residents as being “symptomatic of some fundamental problems within the planning service”
He argued that, “These problems have been apparent for the last few years and can only be addressed properly by carrying out a fundamental review of the service. The review should learn from other councils that operate alternative service delivery models for their planning function. A key part of the council’s review should include the advice of planning minister, Brandon Lewis MP, who recently told the Communities and Local Government Select Committee that councils could do ‘a lot more’ to cut costs and increase efficiency in planning”.
The Minister said: "Both economically and in terms of dealing with good planning, I think local authorities can go a lot further with shared management and the shared delivery of planning [departments], and potentially using the private sector as well.’
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