Wednesday, 25 January 2012
The planning process – more grumbles
Numerous examples of the nonsense dished out by local planning authorities continue to accumulate.
In one case, before the LPA would even register the application, they asked for a technical/manufacturer’s specification for a chimney flue. Since this did not form part of the detailed design, manufacturers were understandably reluctant to supply this information in view of the time and trouble they would have to take in doing so, unless the client placed a firm order. It took several days and a number of phone calls to a senior planner to get this requirement removed, and caused unnecessary delay. My informant points out that, had he actually sent in the requested details, it is doubtful if anyone in the Planning Department would have had the competence to appraise them.
As a previous correspondent wrote, these requirements increasingly go outside the competence of planners and are best dealt with by other departments; requirements for the approval of the relevant details could always be framed as conditions attached to the planning permission.
Finally, this planning authority demanded twelve (!) copies of drawings for 'consultation purposes'. This was a simple application for change of use of relatively small premises, not a major commercial development. These drawings were on A1 sheets at £2.50 a go, plus postage/packaging and the time involved in packing and dispatching them. My informant observes that, as I have previously suggested, too many administrators in this particular part of the public sector know little, and care even less, about the financial consequences of their demands.
My informant wishes to remain anonymous, and perhaps we should not embarrass the LPA concerned by naming and shaming them.
© MARTIN H GOODALL (with acknowledgements)