Service improvements to development services to support growth
Telford & Wrekin Council is set to offer enhanced discretionary development services to support growth, improve determination times and generate additional income.
The changes will also adapt the planning service area to respond effectively to Government proposals to introduce private sector competition into the processing of planning applications.
This will mean that alongside enhanced pre-application advice and support to applicants inside the borough, the proposal will enable the council to provide planning and development services outside of Telford and Wrekin.
Following legislative changes in 2003, a significant number of authorities have introduced charges for the provision of discretionary services including charges from a number of development management functions, including pre-application advice and providing historic data and a new fast track discharge of conditions service, enabling developments to start without delay.
Additionally feedback from developers indicates a willingness to pay for the type of enhanced services the new service can deliver.
The proposed changes will offer new opportunities to connect developers from first contact directly into other investor services including biT and the Enterprise Telford offer, supporting growth and the economy.
The enhanced package of services are discretionary but offer new avenues of revenue to support the costs of the regulatory authority and provide income that covers the costs of non-chargeable services.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing,said: “Development Management is one of the first services that developers and investors come into contact with so it is central to delivering sustainable growth.
“It is also a significant gateway to promoting the authority’s wider commercial services and fulfils a range of statutory duties on behalf of the council.
“The Council’s vision for the borough is “to be the place of enterprise, innovation and partnership working”. As a Council, we are continually challenged in delivering this vision in light of reductions in government funding.
“There is a need to drive efficiency, challenge and review and re-imagine the way we deliver our services and support growth that strengthens our communities and delivers income to invest into front line services.”
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet meets on April 20 and is being asked to approve charging being introduced by the council’s planning, highways and building control functions where appropriate.