Maintaining high standards with extra expert planning resource

Date Published

03/03/2021

Reading time

2 mins read

We provided a full-time senior planning policy officer to Hartlepool Borough Council when its team were understaffed, allowing it to keep delivering high quality services to its citizens. 

When the planning policy team at Hartlepool Borough Council (HBC) were short-handed in 2019, due to members going on maternity leave or moving to new roles, they needed to find a way to maintain the speed and quality of their service to the community.

So, in April 2019, it asked Capita Planning Services to supply an experienced senior planning policy officer to plug the gap.

We provided a highly experienced senior planning policy officer to work alongside the in-house team for four months. Our planning experts have broad experience of working in many settings, so we were able to find someone with the specific skills and experience level that the council needed.

One of the key jobs that we took on was assessing planning applications against HBC’s planning policy, so that homeowners and developers could get high quality decisions about their applications and advice on any necessary changes.

We also helped to prepare a residential design planning document and prepared the 2018 / 19 five-year housing land supply assessment. The council, housing developers and builders used this report to understand what land was available for development. This, in turn, provided key evidence for considering planning applications for new homes.

Every member of a planning policy team is critical to its performance. By providing an experienced senior planning policy officer, we were able to help HBC to consider new approaches, including for managing development in conservation areas, thanks to our experience of working on similar issues with other clients.

During the four-month project, our assistance with preparing planning policy documents and determining planning applications enabled HBC to keep delivering high quality services to local residents.

To find out how we can help your planning team to perform well, contact localpublicservices@capita.co.uk.

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