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Consultation Document - Frequently Asked Questions

Questions raised in respect of Planning (Paragraph 4.3.2 of consultation document)

There is no mention of the enforcement/compliance team – or have they been included under the title Development Management?
Yes, the enforcement /compliance team have been included in DM.

What are the areas of the service that are currently not ‘resilient’ and require improvement?
Several aspects of the service could potentially face the problem of not being resilient. There is a relatively low number of Planning Policy Officers, DM Officers, Conservation Architect, Enforcement Officers and Technicians – sickness to 1 or 2 people from any of these sub-areas could cause problems to the department’s resilience. The proposal aims to mitigate against the likelihood of not being resilient.

How will the merger impact on staff?
Staff will contribute to the overall objectives of the entire Planning department, rather than specifically to DM/Enforcement or Policy or Built Heritage etc Other than the effect on the current service heads the changes will not be substantial. Accepting the voluntary redundancy request of one of the technicians will inevitably have an impact on working arrangements of staff.

Will it mean the merged department operating under one service head?
Yes, it is anticipated that there will be one service head.

If so will this mean that one service head post being made redundant?
We would anticipate that the other service head would be found a suitable alternative post (with any salary protection as noted in relevant policies) or, if this were not possible, it would be a redundancy situation.

Which planning officers are to have standardised job descriptions? – will this mean planning officers being both DM and Policy officers and deal will both services?
Yes, it is anticipated that officers could potentially contribute to all sections within the department (inc Policy, DM, Enforcement). However, the actual change would be dependent on the Section Head’s priorities.

Will we all sit in one room?
Uncertain – this would have to be looked at in view of the wider re-organisation of the Authority.

What other ‘specialised’ support is being referred to?
This could include ecology, woodlands/trees, listed buildings, conservation areas but we are happy to seek views on this as part of the consultation.