Additional support to reduce outstanding planning applications
This autumn additional professional support will be available for our planning service to tackle a backlog in planning applications.
A specialist team will be employed on a short-term contract for three months to boost capacity in the planning service. They will process around 160 of the oldest cases (20% of the current workload). Brighton & Hove’s planning officers will still make the final decision on whether to grant or refuse planning permission.
Brighton & Hove is the third busiest city unitary planning authority in England, processing around 3,500 planning applications annually.
Investing in the planning service
Head of planning Liz Hobden said: “This is part of a package of measures supported by a £350,000 investment funded through a national increase in planning fees and savings in other budgets. It will remove more than 150 older applications from our caseloads, improve our service to customers and relieve pressure on our staff.
“It will also help us prepare for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to be introduced next summer.”
Following final agreement by the council, developments larger than 100m2 will have to pay a CIL contribution towards improving infrastructure across the city.
Improving customer service
Councillor Tracey Hill, chair of the planning committee, added: “Our planning service is investing in new technology and more efficient procedures which will improve the experience for planning officers and our customers. I am pleased that we have been able to fund this one-off initiative from within our existing resources.
“As one of England’s busiest unitary councils, reducing our backlog will significantly improve the level of customer service we provide. This will benefit householders and small businesses looking to make alterations to their homes and premises.”
The specialist support will be provided by Regional Enterprise Ltd which has expertise in the planning sector.
Find out more about the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Councillors discussed the Community Infrastructure Levy at the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee in September (agenda item number 12).