A report by the Planning Officers Society (POS) which includes a series of recommendations for improving the process followed by the Government of Jersey’s planning services has today (Friday, 20 December) been published.
The recommendations follow the third independent audit of the department by a review team from the POS.
Group Director of Regulation, Andy Scate, said: “We invite the POS to conduct a health check of our services every few years, and we welcome and are carefully considering their recommendations.”
The review’s 61 recommendations include:
- an Island Plan review which focuses on more straightforward policies for decision makers
- reconsidering the introduction of a Jersey Infrastructure Levy
- reviewing of the performance management process
- clarifying the management responsibilities within planning
- improving the pre-application system
- updating guidance from the policy section
- moving towards a system of positive development management rather than development control
The report is being released, together with the response by the department and the Minister for Environment, Deputy John Young, with the support of his Assistant Minister for the Environment, Deputy Gregory Guida. Its release allows for wider discussion across all interest groups and the island community.
Deputy Young said: “Jersey’s planning system is fundamentally about balancing and protecting the needs and interests of our community and environment, but it is very complex because we have to take into consideration the interests of the owner, the island (as set out in the Island Plan), and third parties. Third party interests have no legal rights in the UK, and that extra dimension makes in Jersey the job of planning harder.
“I understand the challenges that my officers face, and I welcome most of the recommendations made. The public’s expectations of the Planning Department are increasing and I recognise that the roles, performance and management have to adapt to meet those increasing expectations. It is vital that the department is adequately resourced in the future to meet those challenges.”
Government of Jersey Press Release.