Horsham council planning improved, says chief executive

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The chief executive of Horsham District Council has praised council staff for their efforts in improving the efficiency of the planning department.

In June, the County Times reported that the planning department was in line to be placed in ‘special measures’, with its determination rate of 19.8 per cent ranking it the worst of all councils in England.

However, speaking at a council cabinet meeting last Thursday (November 21), chief executive Tom Crowley said the department had improved.

He said: “Since then (June) we have seen significant improvements in planning performance.

“That is as a result of a huge amount of work within the planning department in determining applications promptly and properly.”

Mr Crowley added that the threat of ‘special measures’ had gone in the immediate future, but warned the department must continue to improve.

He said: “It is important in improving the timelines of our decisions we don’t sacrifice quality.

“We were determining no applications but it is up to about 90 per cent this time.

“We are no longer at risk of designation but clearly we need to make sure those improvements are embedded.”