New Streamlined Consultation Launched
A new Streamlined Consultation Scheme between Planning Service and Derry City Council will operate from 3 December 2007. The Scheme, which will benefit all stakeholders in the planning process, will allow approvals on non-contentious planning applications for the Derry City Council area to be issued without formally bringing them to the Planning Committee. Instead, an approval will issue under the authority of the Divisional Planning Manager. The Scheme will have an immediate impact accelerating the processing of all planning applications in the Derry City Council area in line with the agreed new consultation arrangements.
The following information has been prepared to help answer any questions you may have the Streamlined Consultation Scheme. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Derry Divisional Planning Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 028 7131 9900.
Questions and Answers: Streamlined Consultation Scheme
- What do you mean by streamlined consultation?
- What difference will streamlined consultation make?
- What type of applications will be considered under the new arrangements?
- What safeguards have been built into the Scheme?
- How can you ensure that all contentious applications will be referred to the Planning Committee?
- What are the benefits?
- Which applicants will benefit most?
- Will other Councils become involved?
- What else are you doing to speed up the planning process?
Currently all planning applications are processed within similar agreed procedures which can add several weeks to the processing time for minor applications. Those applications considered of a straightforward non-contentious nature will be circulated to Council on a weekly list of applications received. These applications can be determined without the need to formally place them on a monthly schedule to Derry City Council’s Planning Committee provided the application is to be approved, there is no formal request from a Councillor to bring the application before Council, the application has attracted no objections and the proposal meets all relevant planning policies and other material considerations.
Speed up processing of all planning applications particularly approvals on minor, non contentious applications and very importantly it will allow the planning committee and Planning Service officials to spend more time focusing on major development which shape the future and appearance of the historic city.
Non-contentious planning applications include applications for extensions and alterations to a dwelling, Reserved Matters, residential garages, agricultural buildings, advertisements etc provided the application is to be approved, has received no objections from third parties, there has been no formal request from Council to discuss the application at the Planning Committee meeting, and it meets planning policy considerations
Strict criteria have been agreed to consider an application under the Scheme. Additionally the Divisional Planning Manager and/or any councillor also have the right to refer any planning application to the Planning Committee for consideration.
Derry City Council has worked very closely with Planning Service officials to agree the scheme criteria. In addition the Council will continue to be consulted on all planning applications and Councillors will have the right to request that any planning application be included for discussion at the Planning Committee.
There are many benefits for both the Council and the Planning Service, for example, economic benefits related to faster decision making; the Planning Committee can focus on important applications particularly those with significant economic and social implications plus better customer service as a result of speedier decision making.
Those applicants involved in small medium sized business enterprises plus applicants who have special needs or disabilities and require essential works/adaptations to be carried out.
Hopefully once the benefits to all parties become obvious, all Councils will embrace the new arrangements as a pivotal change in the planning process. Indeed a number of other Councils have already shown an initial interest.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the “one size fits all” approach to progressing planning applications is not the best use of resources. This project is just one of a number of short term measures Planning Service is considering which are intended to improve the processing of planning applications and make an immediate impact on contributing positively to the economy through streamlined processes that are effective and efficient and improve the predictability and quality of service delivery.
A consultation paper will be published in the summer detailing medium to long term reform measures which will bring about improvements in the planning system to ensure that it ‘manages development in a sustainable way that supports economic growth and protects the environment.’