Vote for change to planning decision making
Published 11 Oct 2012 12:30 3 Comments
A REVIEW of how Fife Council determines planning applications is underway.
This follows a report presented to the seven Area Committees and the Planning Committee. This is to ensure appropriate devolution of decisions to meet local needs and improve the planning authority's contribution to tackling the economic difficulties and housing shortage facing Fife.
Currently, there are seven Area committees, a strategic Planning committee and Full Council - a total of nine different Planning decision-making bodies, involving all 78 councillors in Fife.
At the moment most planning applications go to Area committee and some to Planning committee. The proposals brought forward for consideration to simplify the system were one, two or three Planning committees to take decisions on planning applications.
The Area committees and the Planning committee were presented with four options for consideration:
1. A single Development (Planning) committee for Fife
2. Committees based on the current SESPlan and TAYPlan boundaries
3. Committee structure based on West, Central and North Fife areas
4. Planning Committee and seven Area committees
Six Area committees decided on the three committees option but North East Fife Area Committee decided on the status quo with the three committee option being their fall back position. The Planning Committee also recently voted to retain the status quo.
Council leader Alex Rowley said, "We welcome the fact that the Area Committees support change. The move to three Planning committees from the current eight Planning Committees is now a move in the right direction.
"This would mean a more efficient use of resources within the Planning Service and would result in more knowledgeable and skilled councillors in the three new Planning Committees."
He added, "I have had many representations from the business community in Fife for a more specialised and simplified process with councillors developing and expertise around planning applications.
"Further work is to be done on the consultations and Committee discussions and the Council also intends to benchmark with other councils to determine Best Practice across Scotland."
It is intended to take a full report on the review process to a meeting of the Full Council at the end of the year."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 10 Oct 12
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Oct 11, 16:42
Oct 12, 01:33
Oct 15, 14:10
The whole system is deliberately too complex, not for the reason of hoodwinking the general populace (although that is perceived to be a benefit), but for the sole reason of requring more people (officers, admin, councillors, consultees etc) on the taxpayer funded teat
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