Planning application reviews sped up by Hinckley Council’s new planning team

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 5 March 2023

HINCKLEY and Bosworth residents are now benefitting from a ‘speedier’ planning application process, after a new director and head of planning has been appointed.

Hinckley Hub (Image: Google) / Inset (Image: Cytonn/Pexels)

The new members of staff have joined the borough council’s existing team of planners on the planning department to help improve the customer focus and response.

It is no secret that over the past few years, planning applications lodged with the planning portal were being reviewed with a ‘slower’ process, due to recruitment issues and the pandemic, which seen some applicants waiting months for a decision.

But now, the new team have ensured residents won’t face these wait times again.

In fact, they have already seen an improvement in the responses and updates to their queries, with the application process being ‘significantly’ sped up from last Summer, according to the council in a new ‘Borough Bulletin’ newsletter update.

The number of applications has been reduced from over 500 in Summer 2022 to just 364 in January 2023.

And, a new round of recruitment is expected to start shortly, meaning the process will become even more efficient for applicants looking to lodge applications in the future.

A spokesperson for the borough council noted: “The Borough Council understands that it is important that developers, both national and local, have confidence in the planning system locally.”

They explained that this will help ‘boost local home ownership’, as well as the local area’s economy.

They are to use the following techniques to help with growth and development:

  • Preparing a new Local Plan
  • Promoting neighbourhood plans
  • Securing growth and inward investment
  • Working with land agents and developers
  • Facilitating town centre regeneration

Coun. David Bill, the Borough Council’s Executive Member for Planning, said: “The changes implemented have already help speed up our planning process.

“We recognise we struggled with planning staff shortages and the growing number of planning applications since the pandemic with delays and for that we apologise.

“However, we are confident that these positive changes to the planning department will see that we become better than ever before, and applications will be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.”

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