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Scrutiny of planning applications
02-12-2010, 04:00 PM
Post: #1
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
I have not come across such a detailed scrutiny review of a single application before. Others may have and will no doubt let you know their experiences.

It might be best to frame the review in the context of planning guidance and spacial policy. Also to measure the social value of play space?

There are several examples of OSCs that have looked at the contribution of the built and natural environment to health improvement.
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02-12-2010, 04:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
Tim, I agree and in fact we have done some work in the manner you suggest, but that just aint satisfying these Members who are now lobbying the Chief Exec!
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03-12-2010, 04:07 PM
Post: #3
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
Nice to see scrutiny being member-led!

Hopefully someone out there can provide another practitioner view.

I will cast around the CfPS team and see if we can up with something more concrete in the meantime
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03-12-2010, 04:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
Yeah, I always warned about involving Members! Thanks for your help Tim, the example doesn't even need to be health related.
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06-12-2010, 11:47 AM
Post: #5
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
I've always thought that although it is evidently highly appropriate for scrutiny members to get involved in talking about planning and licensing policy, it is more difficult to justify involvement in individual cases. Quite apart from anything else it could open the council up to successful appeals against planning decisions because of the suggestion that planning members have put undue weight on evidence from scrutiny, or the suggestion that (through scrutiny members) planning members are receiving erroneous advice from officers of the council (ie scrutiny officers).

Moreover I'm not sure if it's an especially good use of members' time - while it's important to look at operationasl issues (and individual decisions) to build up a strong evidence base and get an idea of general trends, looking at it just on its own is less relevant.

Where there's going to be a consideration of individual planning and/or licensing applications outside of the standard planning/licensing process, I'd suggest that this happen through neighbourhood/area forums or through ward members' constituency work rather than through the scrutiny process.

Mind you, if this is something that members really want to do and your monitoring officer raises no objections, I would be extremely interested to see how it goes.
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08-12-2010, 05:15 PM
Post: #6
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
The words "bargepole" and "wouldnt touchitwitha" spring to mind.....
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09-12-2010, 01:39 PM
Post: #7
RE: Scrutiny of planning applications
This issue cropped up in Southwark just this week - a member of the public turned up at scrutiny asking members to intervene in a planning decision, and neither members nor lawyers wanted to go near the boundary. So that was the situation where the decision had already been taken and a local resident objects.

Similar to your health example, in the past we've had regeneration scrutiny members asking to look at both planning policy and specific applications relating to issues that were being raised by local communities - in that case, as Ed's post suggests, we were able to scrutinise policy but not the applications. Our lawyers' principal concern was that scrutiny might create an impression of pre-determination, whatever we might say about the separation of roles.

Shelley Burke
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