The Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart, has thanked the council’s planning service for continuing to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic and has noted the role that the planning services will play in Scotland’s green recovery.
His comments came as part of feedback on Argyll and Bute’s 2019-2020 Planning Performance Framework (PPF), the annual performance scorecard that all local authorities submit to the Scottish Government.
Across the 13 performance indicators assessed, 10 were rated ‘green’ and three ‘amber’.
This indicates that planning services continue to provide a high-quality service to residents and businesses.
The PPF brings together statistical performance indicators with case studies of good practice for the previous financial year. It covers the work of Development Management, Development Policy and the Projects and Regeneration Team. It highlights planning services’ positive economic contribution to Argyll and Bute in creating an ‘open for business’ ethos.
The case studies and examples of good practice show how the services facilitate high-quality development on the ground; provide certainty to developers and investors; consult and engage with customers effectively; and make sure that appropriate systems in place to work efficiently.
Key points mentioned included:
- Decisions on householder applications were quicker than the national average;
- The team encourages pre-application discussions with applications before major developments;
- There is a pre-application advice service that is well-promoted on-line and by staff; and
- The team works with other council services during the planning application process.
Policy Lead for Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “Once again, I’d like to congratulate staff for their hard work and professionalism. We face tough competition when trying to attract investment and development to Argyll and Bute – now more than ever. Assessments like this enhance our reputation and show we are indeed ‘open for business’.
“Once again, we haven’t been asked to make any specific improvements, but that won’t prevent us from making sure that we provide the best possible service, continue to innovate and make Argyll and Bute the sort of place that people want to live, work and invest.”
You can read the feedback report and the Planning Performance Framework at: Planning Performance Framework (argyll-bute.gov.uk)