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Media Release

Planning Division – Performance statistics for Planning Applications and Customer Satisfaction Survey


MEDIA RELEASE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express, and the text is reproduced exactly as supplied to us

The Environment Department has published its latest performance statistics for planning applications. These cover three quarters of the year ending 5th April 2014 (i.e. the period 6th April 2013 to 5th January 2014).

Of particular note, these show that the Department’s principal targets for issuing planning decisions within 8 and 13 weeks are being exceeded for the first time over this reporting period since targets were introduced in 2009 following the recommendations of the Shepley Report and introduction of the 2005 Law. The table below shows the year on year improvements made. 

Performance in dealing with more minor ‘householder’ applications has also improved since that indicator was first introduced and is now only 3% under the target of 90% of decisions issued within 8 weeks. Appeal rate and results are also healthy, with around two-thirds of planning appeals being decided in favour of the Department.

Three quarters ending on: 

No. of Applications received 

8 weeks performance (% decisions issued) 

13 weeks performance 

(% decisions issued) 

Refusal rate (% of all decisions) 

5 Jan 2011 

1500 

72 

90 

10 

5 Jan 2012 

1444 (-56) 

72 

91 (+1) 

8.3 

5 Jan 2013 

1382 (-62) 

73 (+1) 

89 (-2) 

9.2 

5 Jan 2014 

1361 (-21) 

82 (+9) 

94 (+5) 

8.5 

The table above shows that whilst planning application numbers have decreased over the last three years, the decrease in number of applications received has slowed, with only 21 fewer applications received over the current reporting period compared with the same period last year. 

The above table also shows that the Department’s refusal rate for planning applications has remained consistently low, and currently stands at 8.5% of all decisions issued. This reflects both the value of pre-application discussions, which are encouraged by the Department, and the process of deferring unsatisfactory applications to seek improvements as an alternative to refusal of permission. Where applications do take longer than 8 weeks to determine, it is usually because the Department is awaiting revised plans following deferral.

2013 Planning Customer Survey 

The Department has also published its report on the outcome of its 2013 Planning Customer Survey. This was the fourth consecutive annual survey of planning applicants and their agents. It ran from 22nd August until 1st November 2013. The annual customer survey provides information and insights into important aspects of the Department’s performance and service delivery. The 2013 survey elicited a good response and has provided useful feedback concerning the quality of service currently provided by the Department and suggestions for aspects to be considered further. 

The overall picture painted by the 2013 survey is positive. Key findings are that pre-application discussions remain well used and continue to have a positive influence on the quality and outcome of applications; customers also continue to benefit from access to information using the planning Websearch whilst levels of satisfaction and perceptions of the overall quality of service remain high, generally exceeding those reported last year. 

The outcome of this survey and feedback received will where possible inform service developments and improvements over the coming year and a number of specific recommendations are made. In addition, some recommendations from previous years remain relevant. 

Environment Minister, Deputy Roger Domaille, said: 

I would like to thank everyone who responded to our survey which gives us a good indication of how we are doing at the moment and the areas that we should concentrate on in order to improve further. We are very grateful to all those who took the time and effort to give us their views. 

I am also extremely pleased by the performance of the Planning Division both in reaching its performance targets for dealing with planning applications and in terms of the quality and standard of customer service that is afforded to our clients. Both are crucially important aspects of delivering an excellent public service and the information which has just been published demonstrates the professionalism and commitment of our staff, whom I congratulate.” 

Both the latest performance statistics and the Customer Survey report are available to view and download on the States website: 

DC Performance Statistics - 6th April 2013 to 5th January 2014 

Planning Customer Satisfaction Survey Report 2013

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