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Cost of Planning Increasing Says Audit Scotland Report

A recently Audit Scotland report published , Modernising the planning system, assesses whether recent reform of the planning system is making it more economic, efficient and effective. The report finds that, while public bodies involved in planning are now working better together, the time councils take to decide planning applications has not reduced and there is a widening gap between the costs of processing applications and the income councils receive from fees. The report says that more detailed information on performance and costs is needed to identify efficiencies. The number of planning applications has fallen by 29 per cent over the past six years, with income from planning application fees also dropping. However, expenditure on processing planning applications has risen by 17 per cent in real terms between 2004/05 and 2009/10. Over this period, the gap between income and expenditure on processing planning applications increased in real terms from £6.7 million to £20.8 million. This gap has to be met from councils’ central budgets, which are already under pressure. Further details can be found here

 

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