A Scottish Government report has highlighted the high quality of the service which Argyll and Bute Council’s planning department provides for the local community.
The report rates the performance of the council’s planning service across a range of different areas, in 2016/2017.
All Scottish local authorities submit an annual Planning Performance Framework to the Scottish Government for review.
Local development services are assessed across 15 different areas of the service they provide for local residents and businesses and awarded ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ ratings for each part of the process.
This year’s report highlights Argyll and Bute’s strong performance when compared to the national average, with its service registering 11 positive ‘green’ ratings, three ‘amber’, and only one ‘red’ rating (which refers to legacy - old or stalled - applications).
Areas which received positive feedback in the report for 2016/17 included:
The council’s successful reduction in the time required for decisions on major planning developments to 22 weeks, outstripping the national average of 37 weeks
Good quality of the council’s pre-application advice service and action taken to promote the process
Delivery of a wide range of improvements in 2016/17 including an enhanced validation service, completion of conservation appraisals and publication of biodiversity information
Early engagement of elected members and external stakeholders in the planning process
Commitment to sharing good practice with other local authorities
The Scottish Government did not identify any areas for improvement by the service in 2017/18.
Councillor David Kinninburgh, Policy Lead for Planning said:
“Our Planning Service plays a key role in the economic growth of Argyll and Bute, assessing and supporting projects as wide ranging as windfarms, housing developments and listed building refurbishments.
“The focus in all cases is on providing a high quality, efficient and responsive service which supports the ambitions of businesses and individuals while also ensuring the interests of the wider community and the local environment.
“Overall our planning services’ drive is to develop Argyll and Bute as ‘open for business’ and so build a successful local economy. We’re pleased that this Scottish Government report highlights the success of that strategy.”
- The Scottish Government findings were considered at a recent meeting of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee.