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North Norfolk District Council hits back after Hilary Benn names it among slowest three planning authorities in country

17:35 13 November 2012

North Norfolk District Council leader Keith Johnson.

North Norfolk District Council leader Keith Johnson.

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North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has hit back at criticism in parliament labelling it as one of the slowest planning authorities in the country.

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Labour MP Hilary Benn, talking in the House of Commons earlier this month, named the authority, together with Torbay, and Kensington and Chelsea, as the “slowest decision makers on major applications.”

Mr Benn was speaking during a debate on the proposed Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

But NNDC leader Keith Johnson said 96pc of all planning decisions were dealt with well within the 26 weeks specified by government.

Mr Benn’s comment related to major applications which, by their nature, had a significant impact and tended to be controversial. The comments were based on old performance data, relating to last year, when NNDC did recognise some “shortcomings”.

Since then the council had made changes. Some of the time-consuming detailed work involved in concluding negotiations was now resolved more quickly.

Extra staffing had already been agreed to help the planning service, which was also due to undergo a fundamental review early in the new year.

Mr Johnson added: “I am confident that these changes will make our planning processes even more effective and deliver the new homes and jobs that the district needs.”

There had been just one appeal against NNDC’s major decisions in the past 18 months, he added. “These projects are complex and require careful negotiation with many agencies to bring them to fruition.

“We try to look for long-term solutions for the benefit of the community as a whole rather than simply refuse applications to meet arbitrary targets.”

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3 comments

  • whatever you do , don't vote tomorrow, the election is rigged by this paper and the BBC, in favour of Jamie Athill who is a UK director of a Czech arms procurer, who has most likely supplied the Taliban.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • it just shows you cannot sack the staff and still reach the same standards

    Report this comment

    nhs lover

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • blimey they make enough mistakes now dont try and speed them up any faster

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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