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Guildford Borough Council : Taking Action To Tackle Planning Application Backlog

Guildford Borough Council : Taking Action To Tackle Planning Application Backlog

Cllr Tom Hunt, Lead Councillor for Development Management, said: 

“We recognise the delay some residents are facing with their planning applications is very frustrating and apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.  A number of factors have contributed to this backlog including an increase in the number of applications, difficulties with recruiting staff and the impact of the pandemic. Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this problem but our top priority is to clear the backlog and we’re taking positive steps to make this happen. 

“The first step we’re taking is to offer our staff the option of working overtime, on a voluntary basis. This has already started and we expect our team to clear over 100 applications this way over the next few weeks. 

“Secondly, we’re looking at outsourcing a large section of the outstanding applications with the aim of processing the majority of the less complication applications promptly.

“These measures will free up time in the office so that our staff can focus on the remaining backlog, newer applications, pre-application enquiries and appeals. 

“We are still receiving high levels of applications and we must be realistic about the volume of work involved. However, we will be closely monitoring the results of these actions and expect to see an improvement over the coming months.”