Guernsey Press

New planning applications system online ‘by end of year’

A NEW online system for planning applications should be in place by the end of the year and the president of the Development & Planning Authority is hoping that it will help speed up the process.


‘At the moment registration can [sometimes] take nearly seven weeks because people haven’t submitted the right stuff and the fee has been wrong,’ said Deputy Victoria Oliver.

‘We’ve been waiting for a new platform for a long time. When I first came into the States I was told it was going to be the following year but we’ve now been told it will be by the end of this year.’

Another factor that would help speed up planning matters would be for two new planners to be appointed, but they have been hard to find, she said.

The department advertised the posts about a month ago, but did not find anyone and so it is now advertising again.

Deputy Oliver outlined some of her thoughts on planning process on social media.

She rejected the idea of dispensing with open planning meetings. Deputy Oliver said that in her opinion these were an opportunity for people to make their representations in public.

‘I do think you need to let them have a platform where they can get their point of view across in an open and transparent way,’ she said.

‘I think if we said we were getting rid of open planning meetings a lot of people would be upset.’

Another idea suggested was ‘fast-tracking’ some applications, but she was concerned that this could lead to a two-tier system and she did not wish to see that.

Applications where a traffic impact assessment was necessary had been slower to process of late. Deputy Oliver she would be talking to Environment & Infrastructure president Lindsay de Sausmarez about how this could be improved.

One recent change had helped, she said, and that was the introduction of more planning exemptions.

‘They’ve helped a lot but we’re still getting quite a lot of calls asking if something is exempt.’

The planning department has determined more than 200 applications in the last eight weeks.