Cash boost for Suffolk Coastal
A £200,000 cash boost has been given to Suffolk Coastal following improvements in its services. The government grant recognises the work the council has been doing to make its planning service better.
By Richard Cornwell
A £200,000 cash boost has been given to Suffolk Coastal following improvements in its services.
The government grant recognises the work the council has been doing to make its planning service better.
It has previously been criticised by official bodies for its performance and the time it was taking to decide planning matters.
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The provisional grant includes a £50,000 bonus payment for meeting all the government's three performance measures for speed of development control decisions, and a further £16,700 for being in the Haven Gateway growth point area.
Recent annual statistics showed the council dealt with 78 per cent of major planning applications within 13 weeks, compared to a national target of 60pc and a national average of 70pc.
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It is also exceeding the target for minor applications by 14pc by scoring 79 per cent, and its other applications figure of 89pc is nine pc above target.
Deputy leader Andy Smith said the government grant was further official recognition of changes that have made the service more customer-friendly, quicker in reaching decisions, while costing less than other authorities.
He said: “All the evidence shows that while we are making decisions more quickly, there has been no drop in the quality of those decisions, as measured by our continuing high success rate in appeals, which means we are continuing to successfully protect the quality of life in our district.
“The facts show that we have made excellent progress over the last couple of years which has been the result of a great team effort from management and staff, along with the development control committees.
“This latest reward from the government will help us continue to improve, and I am particularly pleased that it includes the first new cash injections into this district as a result of part of us now being in a growth point area, which we hope will be the first of many.”
Do you think Suffolk Coastal's planners do a good job? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk