This is an archived press release
Tuesday 27 April 2004
27 April 2004
GRANT RECOGNISES NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS
Peak District planners have been boosted with a £185,000 government grant. The funding recognises the big service improvements registered by the National Park Authority.
The annual Planning Delivery Grant is awarded to local authorities by the Government on a sliding scale, based on the performance of their planning services during 2002 / 2003.
It focuses on two aspects of planning: the development control service which determines planning applications, and the forward planning service which reviews key planning and policy documents to ensure they keep pace with the latest Government legislation and guidance.
The National Park Authority will plough the cash into further service improvements including:
Increasing consultation with businesses and members of the public
Improving the advice offered to people lodging planning applications
Producing more planning guidance documents for customers
Upgrading IT systems
Reviewing key planning and policy documents to ensure they are kept up-to-date
Strengthening planning enforcement processes
Last year the development control service notched up its best ever figures for determining planning applications. Over 1,000 applications were determined and more than seven out of ten are being decided within eight weeks - the best figures ever recorded by the Authority.
The forward planning service coordinates root-and-branch reviews of the key documents that underpin the work of the National Park Authority. The team recently embarked on a review of the National Park Management Plan, which will set the Authority's objectives for the next five years.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, Tony Hams, said: "This is excellent news - the award is much better than last year's grant and it is the highest made to any National Park Authority this year.
"Significant improvements have been made to our services over the past 12 months but we are not complacent and are determined to build on these strong foundations. The government funding will help us to do this."