Council's planning service second highest performing in southwest
01 February 2022
North Devon Council says it's Planning Service is working hard to tackle the housing crisis in the district, with the team recently ranked second highest performing authority in the southwest in government performance tables.
The ratings are based on the number of applications processed between 1 October and 31 December last year within the agreed time.
The council says its planning team's high ranking is good news for residents impacted by the housing crisis in North Devon, after a recent Parliamentary Report highlighted the important role a properly resourced and efficient Planning Service can make in meeting local housing needs.
Lead Member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning Policy at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says: "It is a credit to our Planning team that they have been recognised as the second highest performing authority in the southwest in recent government tables. This is a great example of the huge amount of work being by the council to combat the housing crisis in the area.”
North Devon Council's Planning Manager, Maria Bailey says: “It is a sad reality that too many North Devon residents currently live in expensive, unsuitable, and poor quality housing. Our planning officers are working hard to make a positive difference to the situation and I am extremely proud of the performance of the team as they work to increase housing supply. For their efforts to be reflected in the Government's recent performance tables is satisfying.
"New developments can bring about many positive benefits for our area, but our community can also be assured that if a development is not acceptable, planning permission can be refused."
Council leaders have established a ten point plan of action to tackle the housing crisis, this being to:
- bring more empty homes into use
- provide more housing for people who are working in North Devon or want to move to the area for work
- develop a place-based approach for providing more housing options for people in Ilfracombe
- use Community Land Trusts to boost the supply of affordable housing
- reduce the ‘loss’ of affordable housing resulting from viability challenges
- improve the process for dealing with planning applications
- improve home energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty
- enhance the council's homelessness prevention service
- provide more suitable and affordable temporary accommodation
- improve housing standards in shared housing and provide opportunity to people who are socially marginalised
The council says these direct actions are the most appropriate and cost-effective steps they can take to improve the housing crisis in the district - and they are also lobbying government for more resources and appropriate changes in policy.
More information and advice on the council's planning service is available on their website.