Brighton & Hove

Council reports improvement in planning decision speeds

Planning application decisions in Brighton & Hove are now far exceeding government standards, according to new figures.

The numbers were included in a performance report to a recent council policy committee.

In September 2017, the city council was deciding 92.54% of major applications within the government’s 13-week limit.

Whitehall expects 60% of decisions to be made inside this period.

In September 2015, Brighton & Hove was achieving just under 69%.

The speed of decisions on minor applications increased by 20% within a year to just over 80%, exceeding the government’s target of 70%.

The number of decisions being overturned by the government when an applicant appeals is also decreasing, with just 4.35% of major applications being overturned and 2.35% of minor applications.

Major schemes approved in the area this year include the £300m redevelopment of the Preston Barracks and Brighton University car parks off Lewes Road, a 1,000-pupil secondary school and new primary at West Blatchington, a four-story A&E department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and a new Life Sciences centre at the University of Sussex.

Planning committee chair CLLR Julie Cattell, said: “Thanks to the brilliant efforts of staff and some smarter ways of working we’ve made a big improvement in our planning service.

“We’re not complacent and know there is more to do.

“But we’re heading in the right direction.

“We’re highly aware how crucial a good planning department is in enabling growth and creating jobs and homes.”

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