Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Charges introduced for Selby council planning appointments
RESIDENTS in Selby will have to pay £25 to meet with planning officers for advice from January, it has been announced.
Selby District Council’s executive has agreed to implementing a charge for an appointment with planning officers, a service which has previously been free to the public.
Currently, planning officers are available at Access Selby two days per week, and members of the public can wait for a free meeting with them, but a poll carried out by the council among planning applicants showed the majority would prefer to pay for an appointed meeting.
A report before the executive said the council had “agreed to invest £46,144 from its ‘Spend to Save’ budget”, to improve pre-application planning advice.
It said: “In essence this will introduce a five-day-per-week fully bookable preapplication advice service at the contact centre, along with improvements in written advice from the back office.”
Council Leader Mark Crane said: “We have done a really extensive survey of users of the planning system, and the figures were 90 per cent in favour of this, which surprised me.
“We’re not sure if we will use a new officer or a current one yet, but it will no longer be an option to sit and wait for them, people will have to book an appointment.”
The report said benefits to the public would be an increased investment in planning, a more available service, and a more efficient busines model, which would help the council achieve its savings targets.
The report also acknowledged that if the officer had six appointments per day, the investment shortfall would be almost £9,500. However, with eight appointments five days a week, it could lead to a profit of just over £3,000 per year for Access Selby, and 11 appointments per week would bring in almost £22,000.
In October last year, the council began charging parish councils for district council planning officers to visit their meetings, which met with anger from the parish councils.
Comments are closed on this article.