Should Planning Departments Merge?
When the New Forest was awarded National Park status in 2005, it was decided that each authority would deal with planning matters for the geographic areas it was responsible for.
One of the strongest reasons for this is that the National Park has different (usually much stricter) rules for controlling and enforcing development.
Since both authorities have been operating, there has been a lot of co-operation.
They both work in the same building at Lymington, although the District Council also has a larger facility at Appletree Court, Lyndhurst (pictured above).
There have been a lot of things that they do jointly, called “shared services”, these include a lot of back-office operations as well as things like Tree services.
Now, on an initiative from the District Council, it is being suggested that the two planning departments merge.
A formal proposal has been put forward for the Park Authority to consider.
I will be Chairing a meeting considering this tomorrow (Monday, 5th March).
I can see both advantages and disadvantages in going ahead and accepting the offer.
It will be interesting to look very carefully at the issue before making a decision.
Certainly, a decision won’t be taken tomorrow or for some months.
If anyone has strong views, one way or the other, I would be interested in hearing them.
If you wish to make representations privately, then e-mail me at email@example.com