Concerns over residents’ rights in streamlined planning process

CONCERNS have been raised that new plans to streamline the planning process could “override the rights of individuals.”

At Monday night’s Planning Committee meeting, councillors were given a presentation by the Planning Service on proposals to improve the streamlining process.

Under the new proposals, projects which were deemed non-contentious could be processed in a time between 21 and 50 working days - three times faster than the current process.

However, should residents or councillors object to any application, it will be subjected to the full rigours of the planning process.

Councillor Tom Campbell said: “I am concerned that efforts to speed up the planning process will override the rights of residents and they will be forgotten about.”

John Coulter from the Planning Service stressed that any application which attracted objections would be withdrawn from the streamlining process.

He said: “This is not designed to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

“The same safeguards remain in place. Plans will be advertised, residents will be notified of applications in their area and councillors will be informed of those applications in the streamlining process.

“If an objection is lodged within 21 days on any application it will be taken out of the streamlining process.”