Council invests £1m to speed up planning

A council says it is investing £1m to help increase the speed at which it deals with the planning process.

Wiltshire Council's planning service includes teams that work on the local plan and on dealing with planning applications.

The extra funding will be spent on more planning officers, to "drive faster decision making".

Delays during the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a significant backlog of planning applications for many authorities.

Wiltshire Council reported difficulties in recruiting staff to fill vacancies at the time and, at one stage, had almost 2,000 open planning applications.

According to the council, it processes more than 6,000 planning applications per year.

Councillor Nick Botterill, cabinet member for development management and strategic planning, said planning staff work hard to provide a "high standard" of customer service, reported the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

“However, it is clear that we need to make changes to the way that we provide our planning services to ensure that we process applications more efficiently and deliver the best possible service for our customers – and this extra £1m investment will do just that," he added.

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