Council abolishes regional planning committees
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Development, Housing
Council takes planning powers away from elected councillorsImage: Planning via Shutterstock
A London borough has got rid of its regional planning committees, taking decision-making away from elected councillors.
All planning decisions in Redbridge will now be taken by the Labour-led authority’s planning officials.
Council leader Jas Athwal proposed replacing area meetings with monthly public forums around the borough.
According to a report by the council’s solicitor, Simon Goodwin, the regional committees cost the north east London borough £45,000 a year.
The council says it plans to replace committees with public forums, citing a lack of engagement in the current process.
Cllr Athwal said: “We believe we can reach a larger section of the community and get to the heart of what really matters to residents. The format is flexible and offers much more scope for discussion or for personal one to one concerns to be dealt with.”
Councillor Helen Coomb, cabinet member for planning and regeneration, added: "We have made the decision to abolish regional planning committees as we believe the planning process will work more effectively without them and, in turn, save the council £45,000 per year.
“Over the last few years, there has been a reduction in the number of regional planning committees needed and this, combined with changes to planning legislation, means there is much less need for them. A single committee also means there will be greater consistency in decision making across the borough.”