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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24/04/2002
Improvement Plan - Development Control and Enforcement



- 3 -
ANNEXE 1

IMPROVEMENT PLAN – DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT
IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED (1) IMPROVE SCOPE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF ENFORCEMENT SERVICE
No.Actions Required to Achieve
ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource
ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
DC1Employment of Enforcement Manager and additional administrative supportConsultation
Benchmarking
ChallengeDCPM/PPDec.
2001Annual
Enforcement Manager 51,688 p.a. inclusive of notional costs of 12,953
Admin Assistant 7,806 p.a. inclusive of on-costsResource has been included in 2002/3 budgets.
New structure is to be considered by Council 23rd April 2002.
DC2Introduction of new IT system for maintaining Enforcement recordsConsultation
ChallengeBI&SMJuly 2001Setting up
2 days programming time within existing resourcesSystem in place October 2001. However, whilst an improvement it is well short of delivering service improvements required by the DCPM. There is still a need to develop an integrated system with other applications/cases.
Test systems installed. Project Plan being developed with suppliers.
DC3Publication of leaflet setting out information regarding the Enforcement Service, together with the Charter standardsConsultation
Benchmarking
ChallengeDCPM/PPDec. 2001Setting up
100 to be met from existing print budget. 2 days staff time in writing and designDevelopment Control Charter now agreed and published on the web site.
Work has commenced on a suite of charters designed for particular client groups, including those interested in the enforcement service.

Planning Services SIG considered Enforcement Charter in February 2002. Development Control Committee will consider Enforcement Service on 15th April 2002.

Householder Extension leaflets drafted.
DC4Introduction of revised enforcement procedures (including drafting of enforcement notices by planning officers)Consultation
Challenge
DCPM/PPSept
2001
Annual
6 days staff time. (Based on approx. 3 hours for each enforcement notice). It is hoped that these will be contained within existing resources.
Entire system being reviewed by DCPM and Solicitor with view to significant changes. Do not envisage implementation of changes until new year to coincide with new organisation.
Committee reports now reflect structure of legal notices and this has reduced duplication.
Need to look at issues of training and development for officers in enforcement backed up by administrative and technical support.
Issues remain around improving Committee resolutions and use of delegated powers.

See also DC3

DC5Introduction of procedures for targeted monitoring of conditions/compliance with planning permissionConsultation Benchmarking ChallengeDCPM/PPApril
2002
Annual
Dependent on level of monitoring agreed
See DC3 and 4
DC6Publish the weekly list of planning applications on the website.ConsultationBI&SMMay 2001Setting up
2 hours setting up time already completed, minimal ongoing time.
Completed



IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED (2) IMPROVE THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE SERVICE AND INFORMATION TO CUSTOMERS
No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
DC7Make available all current planning applications, including plans and drawings, on the web-siteConsultationBI&SMApril 2002Setting up and Annual
Costs included in capital programme budget for Information Management Progress dependent on implementation of new IT systems and integration between DIP and new planning systems.

Work has commenced on imaging systems and integration with application processing systems.
DC8Make available all planning forms on the web-siteConsultationBI&SMDec 2001Setting up
4 hours setting up time. Within existing resourcesWork in progress
DC9Publish history and constraint information on the web-siteConsultationBI&SM2003Setting up
Costs included in capital programme budget for Information ManagementWork not commenced.
DC10Improve Planning Reception facilitiesConsultationBI&SMDec. 2001Setting up
25,000
Resources to be allocated in 2002/3 budgets. Report to Executive anticipated in May/June
DC11Provide Locality Offices with access to Planning IT facilitiesChallengeBI&SMDec. 2001Setting up
Staff training and set up time – minimal costsWork in hand and anticipated target will be met. Need to build in training for Locality Area staff.
DC12Introduction of Duty Officer scheme for Planning receptionConsultationPPSept. 2001Annual
150 hours. (Based on an estimated 3 hours per week). It is hoped that costs will be contained within existing resourcesCommenced.
DC13Publish additional information literature to include the following: -
1. Pre-application advice
2. Handling “Permitted Development” enquiries
3. Submission of a planning application
4. Amendments to applications
5. Making representations on planning applications etcConsultation
ChallengeDCPM/PP/BI&SMOngoing programme 2001-2002Setting up
10 days staff time (2 per leaflet)
500 design cost from existing print budget.
Annual
500 from existing budget.Draft list of tasks and priorities produced. Work commenced on
    general Householder enquiries,
    Representations on planning applications,
    Charters
    Enforcement policy
    DC14Introduce revised arrangements for keeping applicants informed on progress of planning applicationConsultation
    ChallengeDCPM/PPSept. 2001 Nil costCommitment to keep applicant informed introduced. This now needs to be backed up by guidance notes, charters and performance management systems.
    DC15Introduce arrangements for the early identification of case officer for planning applicationsConsultation
    ChallengeDCPM/PP
    BI&SMJuly 2001Nil costCommenced. Officer identified on acknowledgement letter.
    DC16Introduce arrangements for notifying objectors of the outcome of an applicationBenchmarking
    ConsultationDCPM/PP
    BI&SMNov. 2001Annual
    Dependent on
    take-up. It is hoped that costs will be contained within existing resourcesActioned 1st November.
    This will assist enforcement monitoring process with better-informed neighbours re the terms of planning permissions.

    IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED (3) DESIGN AND MANAGE THE SERVICE TO MEET CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS AND PERFORMANCE TARGETS
    No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
    DC17Introduce revised Charter for Development ControlChallengeDCPMSept 2001Setting up
    3 days staff time.
    Annual
    100 print costs from existing print budget.Completed. (See DC3 and DC 4)
    DC18Adoption of Development Control Procedure ManualChallengeDCPM/PP
    BI&SM Sept. 2001Annual
    It is hoped that any additional costs in terms of staff time can be contained within existing resourcesDraft procedures now produced. These now need to be tested and worked through by staff responsible for their operation.
      It is proposed to create a working procedure manual on the server enabling officers and members to access from PC’s and perform searches.

      This needs to be developed in parallel with new IT systems
      DC19Reduce backlog of applications awaiting registration and introduce arrangements or new applications to be logged on the computer system on day of receiptConsultation
      ChallengeBI&SMCompletedCompletedEarly warning system introduced end November to identify increases in workloads or productivity issues.
      DC20Adoption of Action Points emerging from review of proceduresChallengeDCPM/PP
      BI&SMOngoingSetting up
      30 hours staff time. Within existing resources.Copy of Action Plan attached as annexe 3
      DC21Integration of Administration Team and Development Control Team and restructuring into two area based teamsChallenge
      ConsultationBPDMSep 2001There will be minor cost implications both in terms of setting-up costs and annual costs, but it is anticipated that these can be contained within existing budgets. This matter will be the subject of a further reportReport to Council in April re new establishment.
      DC22Introduction of new/upgraded planning systemConsultation
      ChallengeBI&SMApril 2002Setting up
      Capital scheme included in 2001/2002 28,000SeeDC2
      DC23Establish programme for Staff and Member trainingConsultation
      ChallengeDCPM/PP/BI&SMDec. 2001Setting up
      2 days staff time to establish.
      It is hoped to keep any ongoing costs within existing resourcesStaff training programme commenced with Away Day for Senior Officers.
      Appraisal training 9/11/01. Appraisals to be carried out during November with training needs identified.
      November /December design training.
      DCPM to prepare training and development plan for service following completion of appraisals.
      Member training and development opportunities were raised at the special event and to be considered by Planning Services SIG on 15th April 2002
      DC24Assessment of whether elements of the service can be outsourcedCompeteDCPMDec 2003Unknown at presentThis needs lateral thinking e.g. Neighbours and Town/Parish Councils to be eyes and ears re implementation.
      Getting landowners and developers to prepare planning briefs.
      Can we get other organisations working for us e.g. police?
      Partnerships with other Surrey or adjoining Authorities e.g. sharing of strategic work /issues.
      Use of authority pool of labour for periods of high activity?
      Joint funding of specialist skills e.g. Telecommunication techno babble.
      DC25Work towards integration of all appeals administration within Planning SectionChallengeBI&SMSept 2002Possible savings. Subject to further reportBring forward and implement as part of organisational change in may 2002

      DC26Introduce annual survey of planning applicantsConsultation
      Challenge
      DCPM
      BI&SM
      Feb. 2002 and annually thereafterAnnual
      5 days staff time per year. Within existing resources
      To be done.
      Feedback from “neighbours” to material planning considerations guidance notes to be carried out.




      IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED (4) INTRODUCE MEASURES TO ASSESS AND IMPROVE QUALITY OF DECISIONS
      No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
      DC27Introduce trial scheme for assessing added value during the planning application/pre-application processBenchmarking
      ChallengeDCPM/PPSept 2002Annual
      8 days staff time. (Based on 1/3 of applications requiring comment – 5 minutes per application). It is hoped that these costs will be contained within existing resourcesTo be organised. Likely to be based on design training and introduction of Surrey Design Guide in January 2002.
        This has been built into key objectives for new teams.
        DC28Introduce arrangements for Officers and Members to review decisions by visiting completed developmentsBenchmarking
        ChallengeDCPM/PPSept 2002Annual
        40 hours staff time and 150 for hire of coach/minibus. Within existing resourcesWork in progress to organise a tour for Members and Officers. However this is unlikely to be pulled together until after Design awards given current staff commitments.

        This needs to be an annual event preferably held during the summer months to take advantage of the longer daylight hours. Planning Services SIG to consider arrangements on 15th April.

        DC29Provide summary of appeal decisions in Sub-Committee agendasConsultationDCPM/PPSept 2001Annual
        50 hours staff time. (Based on approx. half an hour per appeal). Within existing resources
        Target Not met due to pressure on current staff resources. Needed to free up resources or identify new resource. This has can be achieved in new structure.

        IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED (5) REVIEW DECISION MAKING PROCEDURES
        No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
        DC30Review Sub-Committee structureConsultation
        ChallengeDCPMDec 2003Subject to further reviewNot an immediate issue.
          However, need to consider whether we are achieving all that we should and how the present arrangements can be improved to improve local democracy, transparency of decision processes, improved information, and comfortable and appropriate meeting places.
          (Haslemere Town Hall will not meet Disabled Discrimination Act requirements in 2004)
          DC31Review Scheme of DelegationConsultation
          ChallengeDCPMDec 2003Subject to further reviewBest Value Inspectors saw this as a major issue impacting on performance.


          DCPM view is that this review should be brought forward as there is considerable energy consumed in current practices. It could also be important key to releasing resources into other areas e.g. enforcement.

          There are also paradoxical concerns from the DCPM that the delegation scheme is too wide and vague and does not have appropriate checks and balances to comfort Officers or Members in its operation. E.g. What is small scale? What is meant by clearly in conflict with the Council’s policy when applied to say issues of streetscene?

          Planning Services SIG to consider discussion paper in May 2002
          DC32Introduce use of improved facilities for displaying plans and other information at Committee meetingsConsultation
          Challenge
          DCPMDec 2001Setting up
          2 digital cameras already purchased. Additional storage of images.
          Annual
          24 days staff time. (Based on day preparation time per Sub-Committee meeting. It is hoped that these costs can be contained within existing resources
          Work Commenced.
          Pilot presentation to DC Committee in September. Following feedback work has commenced on logistics and equipment to service all area committees.

          Unlikely to meet December target. New target was sub committee meeting in January 2002 but technical and resource issues meant this floundered.

          Additional digital cameras have been ordered to enable officers to records sites during their routine site visits and avoid multiple visits.

          Work has commenced on imaging systems. However, capturing of plans and information will reduce micro filming costs.

          Projector and screen options being investigated as appropriate to each venue.
          Alternative venue for Southern Area Sub-Committee being investigated.
          DC33Investigate possible establishment of an Architects PanelChallengeDCPM/PPDec 2003Subject to further reviewTo be done.

          Annexe 2
          BEST VALUE FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEW
          Planning Policy, Information and Environmental Conservation.

          IMPROVEMENT Proposed Shift priorities from a purely policy making role to developing and delivering detailed policy guidance, information, monitoring and action
          No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: November 2001
          PIE 1Devise and Implement Programme for preparation of SPGConsultation
          Challenge
          ComparePP/PEO/
          ECO/SPA/
          TLODec 20032 FTE for two years within existing budgetDraft programme prepared and priorities identified.
          PIE 2Devise and Implement Programme for preparation of Advice and Information notesConsultation
          Challenge
          ComparePP/PEO/
          PIO/HBODec 20032 FTE for two years within existing budgetDraft programme prepared and priorities identified.
          PIE 3Devise new and refine existing monitoring programmesConsultation
          ComparePP/PEO/
          PIO/ECO/
          SPA/PTCommence work May/June 2001 then ongoing.New IT software.Work commenced but progress limited.
          PIE 4Adoption of Planning Users ConcordatConsultation
          CompareDCPM /PPDec 20011 week within existing budget.Document drafted.
          PIE 5Investigate areas for greater inter authority liaison with Best Practice Group, Benchmarking Partners, Blackwater Valley Network and neighbouring Authorities.Compete
          ChallengePP/ECO/PT Ongoing10% FTE within exiting budgetWork commenced on Blackwater Valley study.
          SPOA investigating joint working.
          County -wide design training completed following drafting of Surrey Design Guide.

          Highway Liaison meetings arranged

          IMPROVEMENT Proposed Protect and enrich Historic and Cultural Assets.
          No.Actions Required to Achieve ImprovementEvidenceBy WhomBy WhenResource ImplicationsProgress: April 2002
          PIE 6Set up specialist team to devise and implement prioritised programme of Conservation Area AppraisalsComparePP/ECO/PIOHBOCommence work May/June 2001 then ongoing.2-year programme 20% FTE within existing budget.Work commenced in accordance with approved programme.
          Wrecclesham draft completed and now subject to consultation. Approach has been well received and will form model for Farnham and Bramley, which are next in priority.
          PIE 7Review List of Buildings at RiskCompareHBOSept 2001Appointment of specialist student staff for three months . Cost about 5,000 to be met from exiting budget provisionDeferred due to appointment of new HBO. Consideration being given to commencing during summer of 2002.

          Annexe 3
          DC 20 Action Points arising from review of procedures
          ACTION PLAN
          WHO
          TIMESCALE /COMMENT ON PROGRESS
          1.HOUSEKEEPING:
          Space Creation – files out
          keep active files only

          Layout Plan
          Furniture
          DCO/LN


          LN
              complete
              microfilming still to be done

          office move – 04/01/01 COMPLETED
          2.FILE ACCESS
          Feedback exercise
          Queries vs Plans
          LN/PTSample exercise carried out on use of historic files – decision to retain for 5 years.
          image processing – alternative process to be discussed with Phil Tucker. Information scanning – trial to be set up on site – END OF JUNE.

          (Not met. This is now part of a larger picture re DIP’s and file management, which is under consideration.)
          3.DATE STAMP
          Self inking date stamp to the design required not available
          4.REGISTRATION AT POINT/TIME OF RECEIPTLN
          COMPLETED
          5.PRINTED ENVELOPES
          Investigate corporate print
          LN/BT
              COMPLETED
          6.ENVELOPE STUFFERLN
          COMPLETED
          7.SITE NOTICE ETC.
          Print directly
          Templates
          LN
              Dependent on new IT system implementation.
          8.DOCUMENT DATA CONTROL PROCEDUREJB/LNTo be actioned as part of new organisational arrangements.
          9.INFORMATION SHEETS/MAPS ACCESS/COMMONS
          Talk to BELM
          LN
          Work in hand and will meet Local Plan adoption timetable.
          10.WEEKLY LIST
          Reorganise
          LN/PTCOMPLETED
          11.USE OF MKA BY OFFICERS – Training
          Reports ?
          LN/BTCOMPLETED
          12.REPORT TEMPLATESBTCOMPLETED
          13.FILE MAINTENANCE
          Programming Fix
          LNNow agreed to be resolved as part of upgrading of IT software.
          14.INTERNAL TARGETS
          Development and training
          ST/
          BT/LN
              Staff training programme commenced with Away Day for Senior Officers.
              Appraisal training 9/11/01. Appraisals to be carried out during November with training needs identified.
              November /December design training.
              DCPM to prepare training and development plan for service following completion of appraisals.
              Member training and development opportunities to be raised at special event and Planning Services SIG

          15.AMENDED PLANS
          Agree with APO
          Procedure Item
          ST/BT
              Procedure now in operation. Flow chart prepared. Agents Forum one evening before end of review to explain changes (tba). Procedure notes to be prepared for all applicants and agents. Listing the process & identifying where information leaflets are required for various parties.
          16.Information LeafletsCore list agreed and priorities identified.
          17.RECORD SITE VISIT DATE
          Separate Site Visit Record (see GP)

          internal target
          set out bigger picture
          presentation to staff
          LNDeferred pending new IT system
          18.HISTORY TO 1974
          a) Stop doing SCR3
          b) Move start date
          LN
          ST/PH
          COMPLETED
          On hold pending consideration of risks.
          19.CONSTRAINTS/INCONSISTENCIES
          MAPINFO
          ZONING/ZONES Check Policy
          JF/LN
          Work in hand
          20.SUMMARYSHEET/ALLOCATION PROCESSGP/LN
          Deferred pending new IT system
          21.CONSULTATION MANUALBT
          Preliminary draft prepared. Final version by mid May target not met. Documents now need to be tested by staff responsible for procedures and linked to new systems.

          22.DELEGATED OUTPUTS
          CONDITIONS
          BT to co-ordinateRevised list of conditions and reasons for refusal completed.
          23.DESIGNATING DELEGATED vs COMMITTEE AT ALLOCATION ?BT/LN
              Not met. To be done by end of May 2002.
          24.DELEGATED DECISION PROCESS ST/BT
          Interim arrangements agreed at DC Procedure meeting on 13th March together with 24 - COMPLETED
          25.INVOLVEMENT OF PPO IN COMMITTEE REPORTSBT
              About Quality Control. Need to decide a suitable protocol to identify kind of reports PPO needs to see. END MAY. Target met
          26.S/S AGENDA – use style to page break – add footer with date
          COMPLETED
          27.GOOD PRACTICE ON FILESBT/LN
              Note has been circulated to staff but needs to be reinforced..
          28.P100 AND FILE NOTESBT/LN
          Promote appropriate use of green pad – COMPLETED

          Create link with MapInfo – END SEPTEMBER 2001 Target not met

          29.CHECK ELECTRONIC ENFORCEMENT COMPLAINTS SYSTEMS & PREPARE FOR IMPLEMENTATIONLN/BT/DM
          Target end of May 2001. Interim arrangement implemented in October 200. Also see DC4
          30.RE-ORIENTATING THE ENFORCEMENT TEAM
            Training Requirements:
            1. Systems
            2. Enforcement Case work
            BT/GP
            Dependent on implementation of new IT System (see 29 above and DC 4)

            31.WEEKLY MONITORING OF ENFORCEMENT (Management reporting of changes in cases)BT/DA/DM
            APRIL ONWARDS. Not achieved. This needs to be addressed asap.
            32.PREPARATION OF LEAFLET ON ENFORCEMENT
            Brainstorming Session needed
            BT
            AUGUST; Draft charter to be considered by Development Control in April 2002.
            33.APPEALS PROGRESS SHEET
            (weekly update)
            BT/LN
            To review what there is in existence and whether new data base system is required. Also talk to SW and JG about requirements END JUNE Target not met. DCPM considering issue as part of wider organisational issues.
            34.IDENTIFYING STAFF RESOURCES TO ADMINISTER APPEALSBT/LN
            See 33 and wider organisational changes.
            35.POLICY TOWARDS PREPARING APPEAL STATEMENT – Preparation of template & accompanying guidance note.BT/APO
            Completed
            36.MONITORING APPEAL DECISIONS - – both by DC and Policy
              SUMMARY OF APPEAL DECISION TO GO TO COMMITTEE
              BT/PH
                  To determine how these processes should be handled. Monitoring to be built into new IT systems.
              SEPTEMBER

                  Targets not met due to pressure on staff resources. DCPM considering solution as part of wider organisational issues.

              37.PROCESS AUDIT CHECK LIST –
              (testing 1 case per week through the system)
              BT/LN
              Internal audit complete by DCPM for 61 cases. Performance management systems put in place.
              38.UPDATING PROCEDURE MANUAL
              Ensure Procedure Manual is updated on an ongoing basis.
              LN
              Ongoing


























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