• EDDC standards cttee to debate new “planning agent” rules

    15th May 2013 | News | Claire
  • The rules appear to have been changed at a national level after former councillor, Graham Brown featured in the Daily Telegraph on 11 March.

    Previously, councillors who were also planning agents, were only restricted in terms of not being allowed to take part in decision-making on planning applications.

    Cllr Brown, a planning consultant, chaired the local development framework panel during 2009/10, which proposed development at a strategic level across the district, including proposing large-scale housing allocations.

    Following the publication of new guidance by the Local Government Association and the Planning Advisory Service last month, I posed a question for the annual council meeting next week.  But the set up of annual council meetings does not allow for written questions by councillors. 

    The issue has been placed on the next agenda for the standards committee meeting on Tuesday 18 June. 

    On page 5 of the Local Government Association (LGA) and Planning Advisory Service’s latest guidance, dated April 2013, it states:  “Officers and serving councillors must not act as agents for people pursuing planning matters within their authority even if they are not involved in the decision making on it.”

    Previously, national guidance stated that serving councillors who act as agents for people pursuing planning matters within their authority, should not play a part in the decision-making process for those proposals.

    The revised LGA/Planning Advisory Service guide to councillors is here – http://www.pas.gov.uk/pas/aio/3529687

    The previous edition, published in 2009 is here (see page 12) – http://www.planningofficers.org.uk/downloads/pdf/LGA-Planning—Probity-publication-2009-1940404.pdf

    The standards committee meeting will take place on Tuesday 18 June at 10am, in the committee room at Knowle.  The meeting is open to the press and public.