Friday, August 26, 2016

The other side of the fence

In my time as a planning councillor I sat on planning committees which determined literally hundreds of planning applications and as planning portfolio holder for three years I had formal responsibility for a system which dealt with something like seven or eight thousand of them over that time.

Having put in an application to Copeland Borough Council today, I am on the other side of the fence - and having read hundreds of application forms, this is the first time I have actually had to fill the forms in myself (On the previous occasion I was an applicant the architect acted as agent, but this one is too small to make that sensible.)

It's interesting to be on the other side of the fence. My reaction to a piece in yesterday's Whitehaven News that Copeland is one of the councils with the highest rate of approving applications is certainly a bit different to how I would have felt about such a description being applied when I was a councillor, and would have said that it was more important to give the right answer on the merits of each individual application rather than to count how many times you say yes or no.

It's probably tempting fate to say anything more than that but it will be interesting to see the system from the other side.

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