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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Improvement Plan update for Planning Services

08 January 2024

​​​The Minister for the Environment has published the fourth quarter update of the Planning Services Improvement Plan, following the report by the independent planning inspector Jim Mackinnon  published last year.

The latest update shows that there was only one planning application awaiting validation and requiring action from Planning Services at the end of 2023. This represents a considerable improvement since the MacKinnon Report highlighted significant problems with validation and registration of planning applications.

In November, an Industry Engagement Event was held with over 90 stakeholders, focusing on how Planning Services will work better with the development sector. An Industry Partnership Board is being formed which will meet quarterly with Planning Services to discuss key issues and changes.

A customer charter was also drafted which means Islanders submitting applications will soon be able to get a clearer understanding of what to expect when interacting with Planning Services.

A 'validation matrix' has also been published which includes guidelines on what information needs to be submitted for each type of application. This aims to speed up the process at the start of applications, reducing the need for it to go back to the applicant for further information.

The planning and building duty officer service continues to be successful at Customer and Local Services (CLS), enabling Islanders to get face-to-face pre-planning application advice. Since its launch in June, it has attracted around 50 visits per month.

Other key stats from 2023:

  • 1,164 planning applications were determined, of which 75% were approved
  • 81% of minor planning applications were determined within Planning Service' target of 8 weeks or an alternatively agreed period
  • 62% major planning applications were determined within Planning Service' target of 13 weeks or an alternatively agreed period
  • 79% of live applications referred to the Planning Committee for a decision agreed with Planning Services recommendation   

The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, said: “The final quarterly update of 2023 shows improvement in several areas of Planning Services. Most of the recommendations in the MacKinnon Report have been implemented on time, or even ahead of schedule, reflecting our commitment to promote flexibility, responsiveness, and collaboration in the planning system.

“Over this last quarter, we have been particularly focusing on building relationships with the industry to ensure a collaborative approach, as outlined in the Improvement Plan. Additionally, a combined effort by Technical Support Officers and Planning Officers meant the teams were able to clear the backlog of applications awaiting validation. The recruitment for more Technical Support Officers in Planning Services over the next couple months will help to consolidate better performance in validation and registration.

“While acknowledging the positives, I know a lot more still needs to be done, particularly to speed up the processing of applications. I have set an ambitious timescale for the transformation of Planning Services, and I am committed to delivering this to ensure the best service possible for Islanders. ​

“As part of my commitment to continuous improvement, and to ensure full transparency, I will be welcoming Jim Mackinnon back in February to review progress over the last year. It is important to have independent analysis to ensure that Islanders can see where we are making progress, and where progress is still needed."

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