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Category: States of Jersey

Planning Services to be Reviewed

Jan 23, 2023

The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, has commissioned a review of the Government of Jersey’s Planning services.

The review will analyse the functions of planning in Jersey (the way in which planning applications are dealt with, from start to finish) and will make recommendations about how to deliver a better public service. It will include issues such as customer experience, performance measures, resources, consistency, pre-application advice, post-decision services, and digital services. 

Former Chief Planner to the Scottish Government, Jim Mackinnon CBE, has been appointed to lead the review, which will seek the views of a selection of stakeholders who interact with Planning services. Mr Mackinnon previously led a significant review of planning legislation in Scotland. Post retirement, his knowledge, experience and approach has been much in demand, both in review of planning services in Northern Ireland, and conducting reviews to speed up decision-making on applications for forestry planting in Scotland and Ireland.

Deputy Renouf said: “We need to ensure we have a planning system that is as responsive as possible, as highlighted in my recently-published Ministerial priorities. The service in Jersey has a history of evolution arising from external reviews. The Planning Officer Society Enterprises carried out analysis in 2010, 2013 and 2019, and subsequently we’ve seen changes including protocols for ministerial decision-making, the introduction of an independent appeals system, and greater transparency in the planning process. 

“However, there have been significant changes in the organisation of Planning services since the last review. The Government restructure in 2019 saw the creation of the Regulation directorate, within which the planning function now sits. A new Group Director of Regulation, Kelly Whitehead, was appointed last year, I also took up my Ministerial post in the summer. With so much change, this feels like the right time to take a step back to review the service and open it up to outside scrutiny. 

“I am proud of the work of the Planning team, where officers have to deal with many contentious and complex cases. However, there is always room for improvement. I want to ensure that the team delivers consistent, fair and proportionate action, and seeking an independent review will help us to deliver on this ambition.”

The review begins this week and is likely to take three months to complete.

Government of Jersey News Release

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