The revelation that the time planning decisions are made by Powys County Council have dramatically improved is good news for the regeneration of the county – but more still needs to be done, according to one of the county’s leading planning and architecture practices.
Powys County Council today (Tuesday, 7 June 2016) revealed it had seen planning applications determined within the government stipulated time periods of ** weeks of submission jumping from 43 per cent in the the first three months of the last financial year to 84 per cent in the same period this year.
“It’s good to see such a dramatic turnaround in the these planning decisions, but we must see this rate improve more and the goal should be 100 per cent,” said Doug Hughes, Managing Director of Hughes Architects which has offices in Newtown, Welshpool and Aberystwyth.
“This isn’t just about stats and figures. Planning decisions on commercial, industrial and residential property are critical as part of the regeneration and investment made in Powys.
“The longer a decision takes to be made the longer that investment takes. We all appreciate that every planning application has to be taken on its merit and considered by officials and councillors. But timescales must be kept to and while 84 per cent is a vast improvement, the council should be committed to reaching 100 per cent.”
The county council has also revealed that 90 per cent of planning applications have been approved in the same time period, while the percentage of appeals dismissed rose from 65 per cent in 2014/2015 to 73 per cent in 2015/2016.
“Whether social or private housing, commercial or industrial property development, there is a need to ensure we have a good and steady flow of property available in Powys. If the planning timeframe takes too long then that delays investment and in some cases can put people off investing completely,” added Mr Hughes.
“We look forward to seeing future improvements and working with the county council to do what we can as part of our role in the process.”