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WELSH MINISTER PUTS PRESSURE ON LOCAL PLANNERS

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Pressure on the new unitary authorities to improve their handling of planning applications has come from Welsh loca...
Pressure on the new unitary authorities to improve their handling of planning applications has come from Welsh local government minister Win Griffiths.

The publication of the statistics on planning applications for the 22 unitary authorities and the three national parks in Wales for the quarter January to March this year showed that only 61 per cent were dealt with within the statutory eight-week period.

Griffiths said: 'This is not good enough. These figures complete the statistics for the first full year of the unitary authorities' existence. Some have reached or approached the Welsh Office target of 80 per cent, but some, quite frankly, are doing a poor job.

'I do not find it acceptable that one council, for example, can deal with more than 80 per cent of the applications, but others cannot even deal with a third of those they receive.'

Griffiths said that Welsh Office officials would be monitoring the current year's statistics closely, and would be meeting councils with consistently poor performances to see how improvements could be made.

-- Tables comparing council's speed of determining planning applications; percentage of applications determined within eight weeks of receipt; planning applications workload; speed of determining minor and householder applications; number of applications determined; departure applications workload; are available on request from LGCnet on 0171 833 7324/5.

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