Planning targets

SIR, — I note (Herts Advertiser, September 11) that St Albans District Council has missed its targets for determining householder planning applications within eight weeks. Frankly — good. Cllr Chris Brazier, as portfolio holder, I think misses the point i

SIR, - I note (Herts Advertiser, September 11) that St Albans District Council has missed its targets for determining householder planning applications within eight weeks. Frankly - good. Cllr Chris Brazier, as portfolio holder, I think misses the point in respect of planning in St Albans.

The time deadlines were initially introduced following pressure from large housebuilders and developers on Central Government. The result of these time deadlines has been a rapid deterioration in the quality of planning decisions. In many circumstances applications are refused purely to enable the council to meet the time deadline, resulting in much greater delay as a second application is required whereas a negotiation would result in better planning, a shorter time period between initial submission and an ultimate approval, and less administrative costs to the council which must be of benefit to the council tax payer as a whole.

Hopefully with the Government's abolition of the planning delivery grant paid to local authorities purely based on their speed in making decisions however bad within the time period, we might see St Albans developing a more constructive approach and better planning decisions.

DAVID PARRY,


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