NORTH Devon Council has asked customers to get it right first time on their planning applications in order for them to be dealt with faster. Every year, the council deals with some 2,000 applications across the district - but out of those around a third a

NORTH Devon Council has asked customers to get it right first time on their planning applications in order for them to be dealt with faster.Every year, the council deals with some 2,000 applications across the district - but out of those around a third are incomplete, meaning officers have to ask for more information, which slows the whole process down."We understand customers want their applications dealt with quickly, which is why we are eager to address the issue by looking at how we can improve things our end," said Councillor Des Brailey, Portfolio Holder for Community and Spatial Planning."To help speed things up even more, we are asking customers and their agents to double check forms to make sure they're filled out correctly. That way, we can get to work on them straight away, to keep our response times as short as possible."The council is introducing a number of new measures in a bid to speed up the works, including:Simplifying relevant documents to ensure they are clear and concise.Informing customers and agents (their solicitors or architects) of incomplete forms and enabling them to submit the missing information via email, rather than letter.Holding meetings with applicants so they understand all the criteria their application will need to meet.Looking into the possibility of setting up a scheme, where the council identifies planning agents on their website, who meet and exceed a high standard of work.Customers with planning inquiries can call the council on (01271) 388288, visit the Civic Centre at North Walk, Barnstaple, or go to www.northdevon.gov.uk/planning for more information.