Planning department (FOI-551)
Re: Freedom of Information Request.
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, received 16 July 2018. Your request has been considered and our response is in bold below.
You requested the following:
- Has the council outsourced its planning department (responsible for town and country planning)? If so, who is responsible for providing these services?
- Has the council outsourced any part of its planning services (planning policy, development management, planning enforcement)? If so, who is responsible for providing these services?
- Please provide details of any company providing statutory planning services or service support for planning to the council. If such provision exists, how long has the company provided services to the council, how long does the contract last for and what is the value of the contract?
Not Applicable (N/A)
- Are planning officers responsible for delivering the council’s town and country planning responsibilities employed directly by the council? If not, who are they employed by?
Yes. Agency workers are employed on occasion (via a Council wide framework agreement with Matrix) but none cover posts that have delegated authority to make decisions on planning applications or related matters.
- Is routine use of private sector consultants made to process planning applications on behalf of the council? If so, which company/companies are used for this and how much was paid for such consultancy in the 2017-18 financial year?
- Is routine use of private sector consultants made to develop planning policy on behalf of the council? If so, which company/companies are used for this and how much was paid for such consultancy in the 2017-18 financial year?
Private sector consultants are used regularly to prepare evidence base items that underpin Development Plan documents, but there is only one example in 2017/18 where consultants have been engaged to directly develop planning policy. This was for the Shoreditch Area Action Plan, where Allies & Morrison Urban Practitioners were commissioned and £57,000 was spent in 2017/18.
- Is routine use of private sector consultants made to conduct planning enforcement work on behalf of the council? If so, which company/companies are used for this and how much was paid for such consultancy in the 2017-18 financial year?
The Council only uses consultants for direct action related planning enforcement work, and has entered into a framework agreement with Ivy Legal (Ivy Planning), however, the framework has only been implemented in 2018/19
Appeals & Complaints Procedure
If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to appeal, please write to the Information Management Team, [email protected] and this will be dealt with through our Internal Review procedure.
Your request for an internal review should be submitted to us within 40 working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the Council.
If you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at the contact details provided below.
Information Commissioner"s Office
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Information Management Team