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WORKING TOGETHER WITH COUNCILS ON PLANNING COSTS

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The introduction of a common accounting framework for planners could improve best value in cost accounting by Scott...
The introduction of a common accounting framework for planners could improve best value in cost accounting by Scottish local authorities, research published today reveals.

An independent report into costs in the planning service, prepared on behalf of the Scottish executive, examines the costs incurred by Scottish councils for processing planning applications and providing other planning services.

Welcoming the report planning minister Sarah Boyack said: 'Our Programme for government makes clear our commitment to improve how the planning system operates, and I am pleased to see that councils across Scotland have contributed to this research to work towards a better planning system.

'We all want to see a high standard of quality and value for money in the planning service, and I welcome this report for two reasons.

Better accounting will help councils give Best Value to their local communities. It also assists the Scottish executive in setting

appropriate fee levels for planning applications. I appreciate the co-operation of local authorities in this work.'

BACKGROUND

1. The report on costs in the planning service has been prepared for the Scottish executive by consultant Paula Gilder, who has had wide experience of local government management accounting and is active in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

2. Local authorities have the primary responsibility for operating the planning system in Scotland. They deal with applications for development under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, and prepare development plans as the policy context for their decisions.

3. The level of fees charged by local authorities for deciding planning applications is the responsibility of the Scottish executive.

4. The report on costs in the planning service is published in the Scottish executive central research unit series and available

price£5.00 from The Stationery Office Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AZ (telephone: 0131 228 4181).

A summary of the research findings is available free of charge from the Central Research Unit, Victoria Quay EH6 6QQ (telephone: 0131 244 7560).

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