Council’s planning policy under scrutiny

South Ribble Council Civic Centre, Leyland
South Ribble Council Civic Centre, Leyland

A task group has been formed to gauge the public’s views of South Ribble Council’s planning processes.

The scrutiny committee has decided to take a closer look at how planning applications are considered at the council, and how residents feel about their views being taken on board when decisions are made regarding developments.

A special task group, made up of councillors, has come together to review the planning process, and see if any improvements can be made in future.

A report, which is set to be discussed at a meeting tonight, reads: “The council is the statutory planning authority in South Ribble.

“The planning service is high profile with residents because of the impact it has on their local area and quality of life.

“Planning is also an area which ward councillors are regularly involved with on behalf of residents and in their community leadership role and through ‘My Neighbourhoods’.

“The council has a strong and successful track-record of public involvement in planning and engaging with them on planning policy through the Local Development Framework (LDF) and individual planning applications.

“Due to the prominence of the service with residents and members, the agreement and opportunities of the LDF and change within the local and national planning landscape, the scrutiny committee felt it was an opportune time to carry out a strategic review of the planning service to ensure it continues to be as efficient and effective as possible.”

Aims of the review include :

- to assess the public perception of the planning service and planning committee;

- to understand and consider the effectiveness of key planning processes;

- to investigate the involvement of Lancashire County Council highways in the planning process;

- and to make recommendations on how the council could improve its planning service.

Do do this, the task group will carry out surveys of councillors, planning applicants, agents and those commenting on applications; shadow the planning team; and observe the planning committee.