BIG, and we mean BIG, really BIG changes are on their way to Waverley’s planning functions.

WHY? Because if the authority doesn’t do as the Planning Advisory Service says, the Tory Government will take over and run Waverley’s Planning function.

Then the men in grey suits will descend on ‘Your Waverley’ and run the planning show.

The threat of ‘Designation’ is hanging over Waverley Towers like rotting fish. So, planning officers are to get what they always wanted more power to their elbows!

In future household planning applications – you know, the ones right next door to you. The ones where your neighbour wants to put up a whopping great extension, take out your light, and devalue your home? Well, in future, all household applications will be determined by officers!
That will certainly speed things up! 
Developments of 10 homes and under will also get the deft touch of officers. In other words, approval. Is that the sound of the government stopwatch ticking faster?

At the single planning meeting, your Ward councillor/s can speak for four minutes but cannot vote. There will be no Executive members on any committees in future.
So Liz the Biz Townsend will have to sit at home with her knitting. Knit one, purl one…?

Not everyone is a happy bunny.

Don’t think that councillors are thrilled with the changes forced upon them.
Just one planning committee with 15 members covering the whole borough of Waverley has been agreed. Councillors will determine applications from Ewhurst on the Sussex border to the furthest point of the Hampshire border, like Fernhurst.

The gang of 15 shivers.

Some seasoned councillors say they are shivering in their shoes at the thought of the heavy workload and schlepping across the borough to site meetings. Oh! We forgot. Planning officers don’t want site meetings. They say they are too expensive and take up too much officer time.
So there you have it, folks. A councillor from Ewhurst will be determining planning applications in the boondocks on the borders of Hampshire, with little or no knowledge of the area.

Give it a go, Robbo.

Cllr John Robini told a meeting of the Standards Committee that his colleagues would have to try the new system.
“let’s work hard and see if it works in time. Must do something. We don’t want to get into the horrible situation of the Government telling us what to do – we don’t want to go there.”
Sadly, Robbo, you missed the point. That is precisely what the government is doing, and what you mean, really, really mean, is that if you don’t kow tow to the government, they will come and do it for you!!!

The Dismal days.

 Here at the WW believe that Waverley’s recent record of dealing with planning applications has been dismal; we know of one developer waiting over two years for a decision. A decision that was deferred at the last eastern planning committee – “for more information”, can you Adam and Eve it? He will undoubtedly be yelling from the rooftops.
Read this: Antics like this have put Waverley between a rock and a tough place. 
Could the next step be to ditch the ballot box and let Central Government take over? Now there’s an excellent way to speed up the planning process.

5 thoughts on “BIG, and we mean BIG, really BIG changes are on their way to Waverley’s planning functions.”

  1. Councillors have the democratic duty and authority to make fair planning decisions on behalf of the community so why have Waverley BC Councillors abdicated from this responsibility?

    Waverley BC have a legal duty to consult the public on planning matters. “Probity in planning is about ensuring that decisions on planning applications are undertaken, on behalf of communities, in a fair, impartial and transparent way.” This decision rejects fairness and transparency. It rejects the Councillors’ democratic mandate, and Local Government Association and Planning Advisory Service guidance.

    So do we now have unelected planning officers delivering more unsustainable development because the fatally flawed local planning system is measured in terms of quantity not the quality of the decisions made.

    1. Wow, if that is the view of councillors then no wonder we now have officers making decisions on our behalf. Councillors DO NOT “have the democratic duty and authority to make fair planning decisions on behalf of the community” – They have the duty to make planning decisions in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise (i.e. in accordance with planning legislation).

      1. Local Communities approve the Development Plans fair planning decisions are made in accordance with the development plans with material consideration given to the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole. Planning policies and decisions must also reflect relevant international obligations and statutory requirements. Planning Officers should be taking routine decisions under clearly defined delegated authority.

        As the Royal Town Planning Institute advises “members need to remember it is the councillor who makes the final planning decision. However, a planner can reasonably ask them to justify a decision using appropriate planning reasons. Where a possible conflict is anticipated, it may be helpful to adopt an approach of listing potential courses of action and the associated planning dimensions so that the decision maker can weigh up the options and outcomes available to them.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.