Planning Review welcomed

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has welcomed the recommendations contained in an external review of its Planning Department.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 10:34 am

The findings were presented to elected members at the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 28, with subsequent ratification at the full Council meeting on October 5.

The Mayor, Councillor Richard Holmes, said: “We have listened to the feedback generated through the review process, and this has given the Planning Department renewed focus, with a commitment to positive and proactive engagement with all planning partners.

“We want to see a revitalised service which is essential for the future prosperity, sustainability and well-being of the Borough, and the review’s recommendations will underpin this.

“We’ve already sought to generate positive change including the creation of a Service Level Agreement with DfI Roads to reduce consultations which will ease the processing of some local applications.

“Discussions with other statutory bodies will continue as we strive to deliver further similar agreements. We recognise that working together with our customers is a key factor in improving the planning performance for all and I look forward to seeing continued progress on the review’s implementation plan which will further enhance our current position.

“I would like to thank our Planning staff for their commitment to continued improvement, as well as all of those who participated in the review as we aim to shape a future Planning service that we can all be proud of.”

The latest provisional statistics from the Department for Infrastructure show that Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council issued the highest number of major planning applications from April – June this year with a 100% approval rate.

Alongside this, the approval rate for all planning applications in the Borough is higher than the Northern Ireland average at 97.2% for residential applications and 95.9% overall.

Enforcement cases brought to conclusion are also above average at 76.9%.

The Mayor added: “The timely release of the quarterly statistics reflect an ongoing drive within the Planning Department to improve performance and facilitate appropriate development in our Borough. We want to build on this to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for the area.”

Council will now establish a new Working Group to develop, implement and monitor an Action Plan based on its recommendations.