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Major boost for planning department

A grant of £40,000 has been awarded to Cherwell District Council to assist officers in processing major planning applications.

Earlier this year Cherwell submitted a bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government to receive a share of its £3million Site Delivery Fund which was established to provide financial support towards local authority expenditure up to the end of 2015/ 2016.

The successful application outlined how if successful, Cherwell would use the funds to appoint an additional planning officer to concentrate on processing the conditions attached to major planning applications.

Cllr Michael Gibbard, lead member for planning, said: “Major planning applications constitute large scale developments such as housing or retail and with applications of this size there are often conditions attached. It is a common misconception that once a developer receives planning consent, our role eases when in fact there is a still a lot of work to do ‘behind the scenes’ ensuring conditions are met. This can vary from inspecting drainage or highways reports to checking the correct materials are used and this can be time consuming.

“This grant will provide us with the funds to employ an officer specifically to deal with these issues, subsequently freeing up other officers to concentrate on processing other applications more quickly.”

Cherwell will receive £15,000 of the grant next month (November) and the remaining £25,000 will be paid at the beginning of the 2015/ 2016 year. 

A total of 60 grants were paid out to authorities nationwide, with each council eligible for a maximum of £50,000 funding. In circumstances where more than £50,000 was paid, this was the result of a joint bid between two or more authorities. However the mean average was still capped at £50,000 each

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