Providing planning resilience support to Warrington Borough Council

Due to a resourcing gap within Warrington Borough Council’s planning department, Urban Vision were commissioned to work alongside the Council to provide development management support to assist with their high volumes of incoming householder and minor planning applications.

What we did Two full time members of our Planning Team, with additional occasional support when demand peaked, were commissioned on a 3 month rolling basis between September 2015 and April 2017 to process 413 householder planning applications and 146 Minor planning applications on behalf of the Council. The minor applications included the building of 1-9 houses and up to 1000 sq m of new floorspace for retail and industrial use.

The list of service provided included:

  • Planning application collections and handover briefings with council officers
  • Reviewing the planning applications and supporting documents
  • Conducting site visits and writing up assessments
  • Reviewing national and local planning policy and any other relevant documents
  • Assessing consultee and third party representations
  • Negotiations as part of the planning application process to secure amendments and added value
  • Producing recommendations and condition reports and reviews
  • Uploading all documents and reports to the Council’s back office systems for a decision.

We provided a remote working solution, which involved us visiting the Council office for meetings to discuss cases in detail but complete all background works remotely at our planning hub which involved the uploading of completed reports into the Council’s back office system.

The outcome By adding extra capacity and expertise, Warrington Borough Council were able to meet their government targets with speed and quality

The support aided the speed of the planning application and decision making process which contributed to the realisation of development and regeneration projects, investment and job creation opportunities in the area.

Our consultants were contactable by the applicant and the local community to discuss individual cases, so we were able to deal with customer expectations.
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