Chapman Lily Planning were delighted to participate in the inaugural meeting of the liaison group.
We all recognise that the merger, budget restraints, resource shortages, restructuring, higher levels of planning applications and the impacts of covid have led to something of a perfect storm … … but the importance of the construction sector and the desire to build, build, build has never been greater.
Brett Spiller, Director at Chapman Lily Planning commented:
The liaison group signals a desire to start to rebuild strained relationships, improve the customer experience and performance of the planning service. It was pleasing to see wide representation and a good range of perspectives around the metaphorical table. Communication was high on the agenda and amongst other measures, Julian McLoughlan – Service Director, explained that new technology was being rolled out across the Council to ensure that officers working from home are still contactable.
The BCP management team were open about the challenges that lie ahead but it was good to hear that they are already looking to secure some quick wins that will improve the customer experience and free up precious resources. These include harmonising validation requirements and introducing a new hybrid mechanism for securing common planning obligations, such as SAMM payments. There was a great deal of debate about the value and timeliness of pre-application advice, but the management team encouraged promoters and applicants to take advantage of this service. The Development Community will of course need to play its part too, but I firmly believe that there is a genuine willingness as well as a little self interest in doing so.
In short – a good start and thank you to the BCP management team for kick starting the liaison group.