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Review aims to improve planning process

03 December 2010

The Planning and Environment Minister, Senator Freddie Cohen, recently commissioned 2 external reviews designed to streamline the planning process, improve the efficiency of the department, cut costs and increase the extent of building improvements that are entirely exempt from the planning application system.

The first of these reviews, the Process Improvement Programme (PIP), focuses on improving processes within the planning application service and is now available to the public.

Senator Freddie Cohen said “I am committed to delivering a better and more efficient planning process. This review, conducted by the Planning Officers Society for England and Wales, identified areas for improvement; the most critical is the absolute need to implement a modern IT system to manage the planning process. This will enable a far more transparent system that will allow the public to access information easily, speed up the determination of applications, and improve decision making. I am determined to introduce a better IT system through the ‘invest to save’ programme as it will deliver immediate benefits.”

Implementation of the recommendations of the PIP will take place over the forthcoming months and this process will continue the progress made in delivering improved architectural standards.

Senator Cohen went on to say “I am delighted the report has commended the Planning Applications Panel and recognised the significance of the recent establishment of the Architectural Commission.” 


The key recommendations of the review are:

  • new Planning IT system and more online capability
  • more permitted development rights
  • planning merits appeal system
  • revised DC process manual
  • greater use of standard conditions
  • simplified process for departures from Island Plan
  • simplified fee structure
  • new accommodation and team structure
  • streamlined and standardised administrative processes
  • greater officer delegation levels
  • simplified Planning Obligation Agreement process
  • greater learning and staff development with other jurisdictions
  • possible charging for pre-application advice

Read the Process Improvement Programme (government and administration section) 

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