Change proposed to planning views

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Parish councils which have opposing views to district council officers on planning matters may no longer be allowed to make their representations only in writing.

At a meeting of the full council tonight (Wednesday) a review of political management arrangements makes the recommendation.

It states that parish councils must confirm they will attend the meeting of the planning committee to make their representations if their view differs from officers’ recommendations.

In a statement to the Bucks Herald John Byrne, head of planning at the district council, said: “We have identified several areas where cost savings and improvements to the planning service could be made and the operation of the committees improved.

“One of the options put forward for consideration is to make changes to the range of applications that are automatically reported to committee.

“We believe these changes will give an appropriate balance between responding to performance improvement for the benefit of customers and efficiency savings whilst not being likely to fundamentally change outcomes on decisions made.”

No reply was given to the Bucks Herald’s suggestion that this change of policy might increase the workload and expense on parish councils.

District council Labour leader Robin Stuchbury said:”This has not been consulted with the parishes prior to going to council.”