Source: Aisle of Wight
27 Jun 2022
The final report of the Local Government Association’s review of the Isle of Wight’s planning system has been published.
The report praises the “significant passion” amongst councillors, staff and local people in relation to issues around housing, development and growth housing, development and growth.
But it emphasises the need for planning to take place “within a framework of respect for others and their differing views and motivations”.
The report gives a range of recommended actions, including to urgently finalise and adopt the Island Planning Strategy, and to rebuild trust between councillors, staff and the community.
The review was carried out in May this year — at no cost to the authority — by a councillor and senior officers from Cornwall, Colchester, the Isles of Scilly and St Albans City and District councils, as well as the LGA. The review looked at the council’s planning function as a whole including the work of staff in the planning department, and elected councillors making up the planning committee. Over three days the peer review team gathered information and views from more than 24 meetings, speaking to over 74 people including a range of council staff, elected councillors and representatives of other organisations.
Council leader, Councillor Lora Peacey Wilcox, said: “We invited the LGA to undertake this review because planning is such a crucial part of delivering the council’s objectives. Working with the external LGA review team was a valuable experience for all of us, and the final report reflects the spirit of positive improvement that we took away from the three days the team spent with us. I am pleased to see that the team acknowledged the passion, positivity and sheer hard work that goes into our planning processes – from councillors, staff and others across the Island such as towns and parishes. I’m also glad that they underlined the importance and urgency of putting in place the Island Planning Strategy, and of improving customer focus, communications and trust throughout the planning system. Now the final document is here, we will work with stakeholders to promptly bring forward improvements based on the report. I have asked planning staff to produce a report on our next steps which we will present to the Scrutiny Committee for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration on 7 July.”