Monday, 11 October 2010

Planning Department Mergers heading for the Rubbish Tip?

Proposals to merge Planning and Waste Management departments have been met with enthusiasm by officers and uncontrolled rage by consultants.

As reported in the Planning Magazine (@planningmag) plans for cost savings within local government are coming on a pace:
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference this week, communities secretary Eric Pickles told delegates that councils should share services and work across boundaries to drive down costs.
Three Magnets has talked to inside sources within the coalition government and can confirm that serious proposals are on the table to merge planning and waste departments within and across local councils.

Planning Apps from Developers being 'processed'
The cost effectiveness is amazing, with alarming regularity policy documents are having to be thrown out as Government policies flip-flop between 'localism', 'bigsociety' and 'who the hell cares?' initiatives.   This enables those departments to effectively and efficiently throw out unnecessary bureaucratic, red tape and paper work.

Of course planning departments would now ideally be located next to recycling centres, waste incinerators or landfill sites.   Which will due to the low rents be perfect for the council who still has departments that it directly employs...

Planners have welcomed this news as a way to quickly reduce the number of times they need to empty their bins.   One Planner Officer has been quoted as saying:
Now when nasty planning applications come in from developers we can get the courier to deliver it straight to waste management department, rather than it sitting on my desk for ages.
Of course this has enraged some Consultants working for major developers who worry that their applications are destined for the tip and miss a dusty filing tray or dustbin on planning officers desk completely.   A representative of all consultants everywhere was quoted as saying:
This is a disgrace, it looks like I'm going to have to submit applications via the Planning Portal and attaching each document one by one!  This will take months for your average mixed use development...  
Whilst the details have yet to be ironed out our sources are almost positive that we'll be seeing more Planning Waste (PlanWa) departments in the near future.

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