Councils come together for planning

Joseph Bulmer

THE region’s two district councils have been working together for the first time on a joint event to improve the local planning.

The first joint planning agents’ forum between North Devon Council and Torridge District Council took place yesterday (Thursday). Around 35 agents attended the event at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple to discuss how to improve the services provided by the two councils and to have their questions answered.

Agent’s forums are a regular event for both councils but have never been done together before.

“Today has been a great success. Our planning services have been working together more closely over recent months and this is another step towards sharing our expertise and providing a better service for local residents. Events like this allow agents to openly discuss any issues and ideas with us and other agents so solutions can be found,” said North Devon Council planning manager Mike Kelly.

Mike Lowe, development enabling manager at Torridge, added: “Joint working with our North Devon planning colleagues will give us the opportunity to provide a more efficient and consistent planning service to all of our customers. Planning agents are very important in helping us to provide high quality development within our communities and the opportunity to improve our service and listen to their feedback is essential to us.”

A variety of subjects were discussed at the forum including the Local List which sets out the information needed when making an application, landscape and biodiversity and shared working between the two councils.