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 2017-2018 Planning Performance Framework (PPF) to Scottish Ministers and maintained the previous year’s high standard by scoring 11 green ratings across 15 areas of the service measured. The service is shown to be performing well against national statistics and key performance indicators.
Only one red rating was allocated relating to the Enforcement Charter which was out of date at the end of the reporting year. However, a new charter was published in June 2018.
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.
Some of the good practice picked up by the review includes:
A customer-focused approach, designed to support customers through the planning process, such as the pre-application advice service and a range of guidance documents;
Clear and reasonable requests for more information which flag up issues before applications are submitted;
Hard work to engage with elected members, stakeholders, developers and key agencies. Innovative additions to the website include an interactive story map, to guide people through complex documents, and an on-line submissions form; and
A clear strategy for Local Development Plan 2 which involved input from key stakeholders, developers and elected members.
Policy Lead for Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said; “We have to be clear – Argyll and Bute future success is based on growing our economy and our population. This review has confirmed that the planning service has taken an ‘open for business’ approach and it is having a positive effect.
“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.
“We want to build on our reputation as a planning team that goes the extra mile to make things happen and make this a place that attracts high-quality developments and where families want to build their homes and their futures.
“The positive review reflects the hard work put in by our staff across what was a challenging year. My thanks to everyone involved.”