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


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#21 recoveringacademic

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:32 AM

I don't argue, Jo that the current system is fit for purpose. I merely ask critics - and I am one - to think about why and how this unfortunate set of circumstances arose.

Avoidance of emails is not a phenomenon confined to LPAs, neither the 'I'll ring you next week' brush off.

It is too lazy an argument to tar LPAs with the inefficiency label without thinking about context. No industry sector can react efficiently and well to forced, calamitous change. And to say the answer is to superimpose another layer of bureaucracy which -from its inception- contains the seeds of significant conflict of interest, borders on arrogance. No, is arrogant.

#22 tony51

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:33 AM

I wonder if there is a mis-understanding in some of the posts about the scope of the new proposal.
If I read the OP correctly, it seems to imply that it is the initial 'admin' part of the process that will be open to competition, rather than the actual determination of the application.
In other words, getting all the required paperwork in quickly, and then passing it on to the planning officer for a decision on the merits.
The validation process, rather than the decision-making process, is the one which often causes delays, and about which developers seem most concerned.

(With regards to privatization of the Building Regs process, I have always believed that to be positive. Too often, LABC officials will sit there and see how many notes/amendments they can make an applicant put on a plan, which is usually a complete waste of time).

#23 jsharris

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:42 AM

I bet that 99% of the time the delay in validating an application is because the applicant hasn't given all the required information. It's not exactly rocket science to fill in a form correctly, write out a cheque for the correct fee and submit the asked for drawings and D&A statement, yet it seems that a large number of applicants think they can just ignore some of the requirements and their application will still be accepted.

I had one phone query on my application pre-validation, over the date of the notification given to the landowner (we put in our application after exchange of contracts but before completion, so had to notify the vendor). I emailed a copy of the dated letter I'd sent to the vendor and the application was validated on the same day. I know of one chap locally who constantly complains about the delays in getting planning permission for an extension he wants to build. He's been complaining about the council for months now, yet his planning application doesn't show up on the council website, which means it hasn't yet been validated, which almost certainly isn't the fault of the council, it's most probably that the chap hasn't yet submitted all the required documents.

Edited by jsharris, 11 January 2016 - 09:42 AM.


#24 recoveringacademic

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:45 AM

View Posttony51, on 11 January 2016 - 09:33 AM, said:

I wonder if there is a mis-understanding in some of the posts about the scope of the new proposal.


Yes, Tony, you might be correct. And I hope you are.

For our OPP application, Wyre BC (our LPA) farmed the paper work out to a company that did the initial work for them. Nearly all employees of that company were ex-LPA planners. Didn't stop the delay though a delay which extended to the day before we could, as a result of non-determination, reclaim our fee.

Coincidence

#25 joe90

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 10:04 AM

Well, my experience has been that for three of my applications all the paperwork was correct but the LPA still took weeks to validate the applications, then they took seven and a half weeks ( from their eight week timeframe) to find a reason to not progress with it and asked me to withdraw them. Unfortunately I did so and got hit with a second fee ( you can have two attempts per fee). I will NOT be withdrawing my fourth ( and last ) application. I am currently sat here waiting for my phone to ring as the planning officer has promised yet again this morning to ring me back to discuss our application.

( draw breath, Rant over!)

#26 fuzzy

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 05:36 PM

in days gone by, before the tories cut funding for public sector services and local authorities, you used to have well resourced planning departments. unfortunately that isn't the case now so where as before you had a validation office processing applications and getting them registered, that responsibility now falls on planning officers. mix that in with the fact that planning authorities have the threat of being put into special measures if they don't determine a set percentage of applications within a set time, of course they are going to delay applications if they can.

#27 Roger440

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:05 PM

Sadly, my sympathy for councils bleating about funding cuts is zero. They squander money on a scale unimaginable to private sector organisations.

We have them building fully "traffic lighted" crossings for horses - on a bridleway on which i have never seen a horse or pedestrian in 20 years. Meanwhile just along the same very busy A road is a series of potholes, one of which is at least 9 inches deep right where wheels go through it. Sure, someone has painted a line round it, but where are the guys to mend it? Easy answer. Pitched up to do some verge repairs on a small lane nearby (right next to where i work). Frenzy of activity on day 1 in the morning. Then 2 and a half days sleeping in the trucks as it was all done. Not contractors, actual council employees. Not even an attempt to pretend they are busy. This is NOT a council short of cash. It is a poorly run and inefficient council with cash to waste.

Anything which brings some pressure to bear, and "hopefully" competition will, i say bring it on.Frankly, they would he hard pushed to be more useless.

Of course, it wlll doubtless be ill thought out and have perverse outcomes :(

I used a private building inspector for my garage. The fundamental difference was, he was willing to find a way we could overcome the problems and comply, rather than find reasons why we cant. Sure, he cost more, but what i got was help, not hindrance.

Edited by joiner, 13 January 2016 - 09:55 PM.


#28 ProDave

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:18 PM

So if we are going to have competition, does that mean if the first lot refuse you, you can try your planning application with the next lot?

(a bit like taking an old car for an MOT, if it fails, take it somewhere less fussy.)

#29 fuzzy

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:14 PM

All the consultants would refuse the applications and then offer their services to run the appeals. i think i may be on to a winner here.

Edited by joiner, 14 January 2016 - 10:19 PM.
"would" for "woudl"


#30 fuzzy

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:15 PM

View PostRoger440, on 13 January 2016 - 08:05 PM, said:

Sadly, my sympathy for councils bleating about funding cuts is zero. They squander money on a scale unimaginable to private sector organisations.



you my friend sound a like a Tory.

#31 ferdinand

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:25 PM

View Postfuzzy, on 14 January 2016 - 05:14 PM, said:

all the consultants woudl refuse the applications and then offer their services to run the appeals. i think i may be on to a winner here.

That's what the Planners sometimes do, with a career change in between :P .

#32 recoveringacademic

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:33 PM

View PostRoger440, on 13 January 2016 - 08:05 PM, said:


Sadly, my sympathy for councils [...] They squander money on a scale unimaginable to private sector organisations.


Oh dear. Easy to say, hard to substantiate.

It's not hard to list private sector squandering: out of politeness, I won't list them - lets just mention one sector and leave it at that, shall we?

BANKS

#33 joe90

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:34 PM

View Postferdinand, on 14 January 2016 - 05:25 PM, said:



That's what the Planners sometimes do, with a career change in between :P .

Well my consultant that did our planning application to committee was an ex planning officer and frankly she was rubbish. I am going to appeal and doing it myself.

#34 ferdinand

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:37 PM

The former Head of Planning in my LA, with whom I had a major run-in a few years ago, is now a consultant, and all of the people I have dealt with in my Planning App confirm that the bloke is *still* a wonker.

There are some good ones, though.

F

Edited by ferdinand, 14 January 2016 - 05:40 PM.


#35 Roger440

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 06:35 PM

View Postfuzzy, on 14 January 2016 - 05:15 PM, said:

you my friend sound a like a Tory.

Im not sure who i vote for is relevant. What i object is the blatent wasting of MY money. And my money is being wasted. It is also wasted by the current government.

View Postrecoveringacademic, on 14 January 2016 - 05:33 PM, said:

Oh dear. Easy to say, hard to substantiate.

It's not hard to list private sector squandering: out of politeness, I won't list them - lets just mention one sector and leave it at that, shall we?

BANKS

OK, maybe not put the best way, but banks are not (well weren't at the time) funded by you. Councils are. But not hard to substantiate waste. Paying blokes to sleeps is not using resources responsibly. Someone may try to justify the horse crossing, but no one will convince me this is money well spent. Such crossings dont come cheap!

Edited by Roger440, 14 January 2016 - 06:36 PM.


#36 joiner

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 10:24 PM

It's gone through it's reading, late last night with, I think, 65 amendments. I just hope the Lords will knock it to bits, although I fear it will still (or because of) be a cobble-up that will make a travesty of the whole planning system.

After the NPPF I didn't think it possible to make things worse. I couldn't have been more wrong. :angry: