In response to customer feedback about delays, the Planning Section is currently operating a 6 week Recovery Plan in the run-up to Christmas. The objectives of this Plan are 1) to reduce the backlog of applications awaiting registration and 2) to release more planning decisions. To help us achieve this we will be using a number of strategies. Officers will focus on planning applications rather than pre-application requests/conditions/minor amendments. These won’t be forgotten however they will be secondary to live planning applications.
To create uninterrupted time, we will answer phones until 1pm and then divert the phones to voicemail. Calls will be returned within 24 hours and Officers will shortly be issued with mobile phones which will make it easier to contact staff who are working from home. Emails will be acknowledged within 48 hours. All applications will continue to receive the full benefit of Senior Officer sign-off however you can expect to see shorter written reports. In some instances, there will be less time for negotiation. We will continuously monitor the situation and make adjustments where necessary.