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Competition, In Planning? No , It's Not A Wind Up. Honest.


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35 replies to this topic

#1 recoveringacademic

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:56 PM

Read and weep.

He added: “That will lead to a more efficient and effective planning system, better able to secure the development of the homes and other facilities that our communities need and want.

“Introducing choice for the applicant enables them to shop around for the services that best meet their needs. It will enable innovation in service provision, bringing new resources into the planning system and driving down costs while improving performance.”



#2 jsharris

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:13 PM

So, basically, this is proposing that bribing people to process applications more speedily, rather than improving the system, is the cure for the ills surrounding our planning system.........................

Funny old thing, but this is what many believe happens already.

#3 SteamyTea

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:14 PM

Won't it depend on how they get paid.
Paid for allowing building or paid for disallowing building.

#4 PeterW

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:24 PM

Welcome to outsourcing, have a nice day....

Most of the current planning system is subjective anyway and I would hazard a guess that most Councillors have not a clue as to what "local vernacular" or other vagaries of the TCPA actually mean !

Most I would guess though would fully understand the term NIMBY...

#5 recoveringacademic

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:36 PM

Payment by results..... all over again. History repeats itself; has to; nobody listens the first few times.

If the only thing that matters is the result, then the process must suffer.

#6 SteamyTea

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 09:06 PM

As I like statistics, and the use of chaotic selection. It would be interesting to see what the outcome would be if building was allocated a random number with the application and then the desired number were picked, regardless of size, location, need or merit.

All that would matter is that the desired number of buildings were built.
Can't be any worse than what we have.

As I was bored I thought I would model it.
Did a simple model based on housing density [0-10] and random location [lat, lon]

Put in 1000 applications of which 904 were initially successful. This sets the base town.
This is what it looks like, dark blue is no build, dark red is high build density.

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Edited by SteamyTea, 10 January 2016 - 09:30 PM.


#7 SteamyTea

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 09:41 PM

Now we have a town with double the build density (so colour scale is now between 0 and 20, would need to do a bit of playing about with colours to make it look more real)
The second round added another 897 buildings.

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Edited by SteamyTea, 10 January 2016 - 09:42 PM.


#8 tony51

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 09:53 PM

What's really the problem with this?

The proposal is for competition in the processing of applications, not their determination on merits.

I regularly submit planning appications to various local authorities. In my experience, more often than not, local authority personel in planning admin departments display the usual inefficiency rampant in the public sector, and are not worth paying in washers. Maybe a bit of competition would shake them up.

#9 tennentslager

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:21 PM

Up here is all going online...I doubt there are ANY admin staff...just junior planning staff

#10 tennentslager

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:32 PM

Says it's going to be cheaper too...
More differences between the way we do politics north and south of the border I guess

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#11 joiner

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:53 PM

Government cuts have meant LAs have had to find "efficiencies" in the £hundreds of millions (£120m here) over the past 4 years. Most have cut staff via voluntary redundancy which means losing control of the process, which means your senior and most experienced staff are the first to leave unless their roots are so far down in the local community that they simply can't leave, which means they're the ones working flat out to do the work of the two (in some instances) three colleagues they once shared an office and a function with.

Many have gone to the dark side to work for land agents pushing through massive developments outside development boundaries, which has meant in some cases that unfortunate self-builders who thought they'd found their ideal spot surrounded by open countryside and fabulous views now find themselves neighbouring estates of upwards of 50+ houses, and overnight find themselves understanding what NIMBYism is all about.

LA planning departments have certainly had their faults, but the scale of those faults has been multiplied many-fold by this stupid government's housing policies, the newest of which have simply made things worse by an order of magnitude. Government ministers are knobheads, they don't get the job unless they conform to that description.

#12 tony51

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 11:07 PM

View Postjoiner, on 10 January 2016 - 10:53 PM, said:


LA planning departments have certainly had their faults, but the scale of those faults has been multiplied many-fold by this stupid government's housing policies,

Agreed; tinkering with a decrepit, anti-development system is no use.
Better to scrap the whole system and go back to the pre-1939 situation.
Building Regulations - yes, because they deal with health and safety; Planning - no, because I resent upstarts in cushy jobs in the council telling me what I can and can't do with my property.
Communism in disguise.

#13 ferdinand

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:12 AM

View PostSteamyTea, on 10 January 2016 - 09:06 PM, said:

As I like statistics, and the use of chaotic selection. It would be interesting to see what the outcome would be if building was allocated a random number with the application and then the desired number were picked, regardless of size, location, need or merit.

All that would matter is that the desired number of buildings were built.
Can't be any worse than what we have.

As I was bored I thought I would model it.
Did a simple model based on housing density [0-10] and random location [lat, lon]

Put in 1000 applications of which 904 were initially successful. This sets the base town.
This is what it looks like, dark blue is no build, dark red is high build density.

Is there real data available?

eg:
http://digitalservices.surreyi.gov.uk/

There is also a bit over at mysociety.org
https://www.mysociet...ore-accessible/

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 11 January 2016 - 06:21 AM.


#14 ferdinand

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:19 AM

Personally I would have no objection to competition, provided the process is robust, reliable, and transparent, but which I am not convinced would happen.

Building Control already has competition. What are the analogous problems with that?

Starter for 10

1. Private Building Regs Officers are not transparent to the same degree. eg If I manage to find the private Building Control officer (not easy always), the decision as to what I get to see will be made by the client, not a disinterested professional.

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 11 January 2016 - 06:40 AM.


#15 joiner

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:21 AM

Reverting to a pre-1939 situation ignores the fact that last year alone the UK had net inward migration of 320,000**. To house them will require building a city the size of Newcastle every year. Do you really want that to happen in an unplanned way?

I retired and closed my (heritage) joinery business four years earlier than planned because of a combination of one planning officer's stupidity and a Conservation Officer's ineptitude. I am probably the planning department's least favourite councillor. However, I would not want to see them gone, I just want to see their departments fully staffed with people who approach their job pragmatically.



** http://www.ons.gov.u...r-may-2015.html

#16 joiner

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:28 AM

Oh, and I raised the matter of shifting the planning process into the private sector with a US friend - he advised against it.

Private firms make their money according to how much work they do on an application. Think about it!

We have a system whereby officer's are allowed to make a decision under delegated powers. Once all the paperwork is complete (and it's often the case that the applicant or, more usually, their agent hasn't completed it - a situation that only comes to light when the applicant complains about "the delay") then a decision can be made within hours.

Two fairly recent cases I followed up on turned out to involve - in both cases - the agent not having either completed or not having submitted the paperwork and was blaming the planning department for their error(s).

#17 doofaloofa

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 06:52 AM

View Postjoiner, on 10 January 2016 - 10:53 PM, said:

Government ministers are knobheads, they don't get the job unless they conform to that description.

Sounds like an argument for RandomocracyTM

#18 SteamyTea

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 07:26 AM

View Postdoofaloofa, on 11 January 2016 - 06:52 AM, said:

Sounds like an argument for Randomocracy
There was a bit on the Radio about doing that to the House of Lords:
http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b06tvwvg

#19 recoveringacademic

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 07:50 AM

View Postferdinand, on 11 January 2016 - 06:19 AM, said:


Building Control already has competition. What are the analogous problems with that?



The piper is paying for the tune, that's the issue. The inherent conflict of interest.
I may be listening to the wrong locals in the pub, but one or two local BC companies up here appear, on the face it, to be less than rigorous. And, when they do turn up when asked, on time and efficiently, they sample those instances of a build which they are offered; not every house, or even a randomly chosen house.

The concern I have is that there will be significant pressure for history to repeat itself (#5 above) in this sector too.

One phrase '... a presumption in favour of sustainable development...' (Osbourne March 2012 , NPPF ) changed the whole tone of a complete market sector.

No private industry could survive the insolence of such calamitous forced change: so why do we expect the LPAs to do so?

I am a vocal and consistent critic of our LPAs performance. But I am clear about the aetiology of the sclerosis. And it does not lie entirely within the town hall walls.

#20 joe90

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:11 AM

Well, my main job today is to contact my planning officer that I have been fighting for 18 months, she is ignoring my Emails and promised to ring me back twice last week, I would not mind paying more if it meant I got a better service. At present it is not fit for purpose.