A Scottish Government report has highlighted that Argyll and Bute Council’s planning service continues to provide a high quality service to businesses and residents.
The council submitted its 2018-2019 Planning Performance Framework (PPF) to Scottish Ministers and received a highly positive response. Across the 13 performance indicators assessed, 10 were rated ‘green’ and three ‘amber’.
The PPF is not just about reporting performance. It is also about promoting the service and customer feedback, which is why it includes case studies to highlight just some of the good practice the planning service has delivered in partnership with other council teams, external agencies and businesses.
Examples of the good practice picked up by the review include:
Timescales for processing major planning applications averaged 28.3 weeks, which was faster than the previous year and are faster than the Scottish average of 32.5 weeks;
Processing agreement information is available through the council website;
The planning team provides a pre-application advice service which is promoted through the website and by staff engaging with prospective applicants;
There is a proportionate and clear process for requesting supporting information. Case studies demonstrate the protocol taken to pre-application discussions and how this assists in identifying issues prior to the application being submitted;
There is clear evidence of building internal partnerships, more efficient processes all of which demonstrate the planning team works to improve services to respond to the needs of customers.
Councillor David Kinniburgh, Policy Lead for Planning, Protective Services, and Licensing (PPSL): “Once again, the review has confirmed that the planning service continues to take an ‘open for business’ approach which is good for the reputation of Argyll and Bute and greatly benefits the economy.
“While the Scottish Government has not asked us to make any improvements this year, it would be complacent not to want to improve year-on-year. With competition from other areas looking for investment, we want to give developers good reason to come to Argyll and Bute. The more we can demonstrate the support and professionalism our planning team offers, the better.
“Yet another positive review reflects the hard work put in by our staff. My thanks to everyone involved.”
The full Planning Performance Framework feedback for 2018/19 can be found on the Council website.