Published: Thursday, 4th June 2015
Shropshire Council has denied media claims that councillor concern over the planning authority’s delegation regime has prompted a review of the committee and delegation procedures.
The council has an adopted scheme of delegation as part of its constitution and currently delegates around 94 per cent of planning applications to officers. This is a figure in line with near neighbour unitary councils and many others nationally, the council claimed.
The local authority has acknowledged that there have been “some complaints about a limited number of schemes recently that have been delegated rather than referred to committee”. However, it insisted that the delegation criteria has been applied in each case.
The council’s planning services operations manager Ian Kilby said: “The important point is that planning committee continues to deal with those applications that are complex or contentious and that will remain the case in the future.”
The council has set up a so-called ‘task and finish’ group to look at the delivery of the planning committee process “to identify what will work best for Shropshire, not as quoted in the Shropshire Star because there had been complaints about the level of delegation,” said Kilby.
To date the task and finish group has met on two occasions. “It will be reviewing the practices of other similar council’s and include stakeholder engagement to determine the best outcome for Shropshire” added Kilby.