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We deserve a better planning service
10:00am Thursday 5th April 2012 in Your View
THE final report of the planning policy task group has now been published.
This groupwassetupto review the remit and effectiveness of Bromsgrove District Council’s planning conditions and enforcement, how the council responds to enforcement issues and to make recommendations for improvements.
During their deliberations, the group used the problems with the Marlbrook Tip as a case study. I have a particular interest in this matterandwasasked to make a contribution to their investigations, along with a number of other residents.
It has long been clear tomethat there were major problems at Bromsgrove Council in their planning and enforcement departments because of the way in which the development of Marlbrook Tip was allowed to go so disastrously wrong.
The task group has, amongst other things, recommended that a case officer be appointed and remain responsible as a point of contact during an enforcement action and a system developed to record these cases.
They also said that the planning committee should receive a quarterly report of all new and outstanding cases of enforcement.
It was also suggested that complaints from residents should be handled more effectively and mandatory training be given to ensure all managers can respond verbally and in writing in a timely and appropriate manner.
Looking at how basic and, seemingly, common sense the recommendations of the task group are, it beggars belief that they were not already in place.
It does not, however, surprise me that this is the case in view of my experiences and that of many other residents with the council over Marlbrook Tip and other planning enforcement matters.
I really hope that the council now fully and quickly implement the recommendations and residents of Bromsgrove can look forward to a more efficient and professional service from the planning and enforcement departments.
Roy Hughes, Middle House Drive
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