Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning Performance Framework (PPF) which sets out how the planning service has performed over the last year has been approved by the Planning and Protective Services Licensing Committee ( PPSL) for submission to the Scottish Government. The PPF seeks to allow each planning authority in Scotland to demonstrate its levels of performance, customer feedback, achievements, and key challenges by publishing them in a single document.
Whilst the speed of decision making will still feature as an important factor the service’s overall performance will also be set within a wider supporting context of quality, workloads, availability of resources and actual outcomes achieved on the ground.
It has been a very successful year for Argyll and Bute Council’s planning service, with three awards being won, including two at the Scottish Government’s prestigious Awards for Quality in Planning. The Argyll and Bute Woodland and Forestry Strategy won an award in the Development Planning category, and the Craignish Community Plan won a commendation in the Community Involvement category. The Argyll and Bute Woodland and Forestry Strategy also won a coveted UK Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Planning Award in the ‘Rural area and natural environment’ category.
Over the last year the application approval rate has been 96% which indicates the council’s commitment to making development happen. The planning service has also introduced a ‘grow our own’ policy that aims to help keep good staff by assisting them with career progression from admin in some cases to technician and from technician through to professional officer.
The PPF which will now be published on an annual basis is intended to help to identify the benefits good planning can bring to an area and will support planning authorities to continuously improve their performance. The framework can therefore be a key tool in ensuring that planning creates great places for people to live and provide further opportunities for sustainable economic growth.
Chair of the PPSL committee, Councillor Sandy Taylor said, “The publication of this PPF report shows how the service has met the challenges set out by the Scottish Government in promoting sustainable economic growth and delivering an improving, quality planning service in these challenging economic times.”
“The PPF document will be critically important in convincing the Scottish Government of the need for the sustainable funding of the planning service in future years, in support of the Council’s commitment to the continuous improvement in the quality of this service.