The council’s Planning Service is focused on ensuring that Argyll and Bute is open for business and supporting economic growth by offering the high-quality service demanded by business and residential customers.
That’s the message the service gave to the Scottish Government when it presented its 2017/18 Planning Performance Framework (PPF) Annual Report for scrutiny and scoring.
The Argyll and Bute PPF captures performance throughout the past year. Using case studies and customer feedback, it highlights just some of the good practice the Planning Service has delivered in partnership with other council teams, external agencies and businesses.
The Planning Service has a very distinct role of protecting Argyll and Bute’s exceptional built and natural environment, including 32 conservation areas, while finding ways of opening up new development opportunities for homes and businesses. These include initiatives like the pre-application advice service and the introduction of simplified planning zones.
So successful is this approach, that during this period 97.6% of applications were approved.
Case studies in the PPF highlight how proposals for some sensitive projects have reached a successful conclusion. This has been achieved by the service engaging early with developers, and liaising closely with stakeholders and conservation agencies. The final developments help support fragile local communities by creating jobs, promoting tourism and ultimately growing the population.
Policy Lead for Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “I’m encouraged that the PPF shows how hard the council is working to dispel perceptions that planning and building regulations are a barrier to achieving your ambitions.
“Argyll and Bute’s planning service is focused on removing planning obstacles so that people and businesses can realise their ambitions, and we can support economic growth in the area. I am pleased this report highlights this.
“The success of our collaborative approach is, I believe, reflected in our high approval rates and the additional time we often give applicants to try and resolve issues.
“I would like to congratulate our council staff, partners, communities and developers for driving forward positive change in our natural and built environment and making Argyll and Bute a great place to live, work and visit.”