This is an archived press release
Monday 5 January 2004
5 January 2004
PEAK DISTRICT PLANNERS ARE SPEEDING UP
Planning applications are being determined faster than ever by the Peak District National Park Authority, despite a big increase in the number being lodged with the Authority.
Over the past 12 months the team of 20 planners has dealt with 1,200 applications.
However, more than seven out of 10 are being decided within eight weeks - the best figures ever recorded by the Authority, well up on last year and above the latest figures for the national average.
As the local planning authority the Peak District National Park Authority is responsible for determining all local applications, ranging from smaller scale house extensions to major applications for quarrying and business developments.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's planning control committee, Councillor John Bull, said: "The latest figures are particularly good news when seen in the light of the big increase in the number of applications, which are up by a quarter on the same period last year.
"Our main planning priority will always be to ensure that the quality of new developments is maintained – however, we recognise the importance of providing a fast and responsive service for our customers."
The Authority is determined to build on the strong progress already made and introduce further improvements. With this in mind all planning applicants are being asked for their views on the service.
"We are continually looking to improve and we welcome the constructive comments of our customers," added Councillor Bull.
A number of service developments are already in the pipeline. A new computer system is being introduced to improve applicants' access to information and enable planners to provide a more efficient service.
In addition, improvements to the National Park Authority's IT systems will mean that customers will be able to lodge their planning applications via the Internet within the next two years.