The number of planning applications determined by Powys County Council within the required time period has risen, it has been announced.
84 per cent of planning applications were determined by the council within the time period required in the last three months of 2015/2016, compared to 43 per cent in the first three months of the same financial year.
This has been achieved at the same time as keeping the planning application approval rate above 90 per cent during 2015/16, figures released by the council’s Development Management Team have revealed.
The percentage of appeals dismissed by the council also rose from 65 per cent in 2014/2015 to 73 per cent in 2015/16. Performance figures over 66 per cent in this area is considered by the Welsh Government to be good.
The Team has introduced an online customer survey to get valuable feedback and to look at ways to improve the service.
Cllr Avril York, Cabinet Member for planning said:
“Planning provides an important public service that can play an key role in the regeneration of the county. I’m delighted that we have improved our performance and are now determining more applications within the required time period.
“The Welsh Government consider performance figures over 80 per cent of applications determined within the required time period to be good, so to go beyond that is pleasing. It shows we are performing to a high standard.
“There is a competitive market in recruiting planning staff and in the past we have experienced some difficulties in this area. However, we are now nearing a fully staffed team and we will be in a position to build on this good work and look to improve our performance further.”
The Team is now sending fortnightly application decision lists to town and community councils, which will allow them to keep track of applications determined in their area and adjoining town and community council areas.
“I would like to thank the staff, their dedication and determination has been vital to enabling our planning performance to improve. We’re not complacent and will continue to improve our planning services,” added Cllr York.
“We are committed to providing an efficient and effective planning service that is fit-for-purpose that can process planning applications within our policies and guidelines and also deal with complex planning matters that we will face in the future.”