Taking action to tackle planning application backlog
Cllr Tom Hunt, Lead Councillor for Development Management, said:
"We recognise the delay some residents are facing with their planning applications. We know this is very frustrating. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. Various factors contributed to this backlog. They include an increase in the number of applications. Also difficulties with recruiting staff and the impact of the pandemic. Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this problem. Our top priority is to clear the backlog and we're taking positive steps to make this happen.
"The first step we're taking is to offer our staff the option of working overtime, on a voluntary basis. This has already started and we expect our team to clear over 100 applications this way over the next few weeks.
"We're also looking at outsourcing a large section of the outstanding applications. We aim to process the majority of the less complicated applications promptly.
"These measures will free up time in the office. Our staff can then focus on the remaining backlog and newer applications. Also focus on pre-application enquiries and appeals.
"We are still receiving high levels of applications. So we must be realistic about the volume of work involved. We are monitoring the results of these actions closely. We expect to see an improvement over the coming months."
Published on: 15 June 2022