Planning should be a priority for the North East

Membership organisation Developing Consensus is calling for planning to be made one of the North East’s key priorities to attract investment and development following the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of June 4th, only five out of the 12 North East authorities have progressed with virtual planning committees. In comparison the North has seen 38 out of 42 local planning authorities proceed with virtual or any other form of committees.

Sandra Manson, senior director at Pegasus Group, said: “It’s crucial that we pick up the pace and that planning committees embrace and utilise technology to help our region move forward. Whilst we understand there are concerns and challenges regarding IT and the risk of unfair hearing claims, these are all barriers that must be overcome to help our recovery.”

Samantha Curtis, managing director of Curtis PDC and Head of the Developing Consensus Planning Group, said: “If we want to shore up future investment and encourage more national and regional businesses to develop within our region, it’s so important that we ensure our planning processes are streamlined, efficient and that best practice is shared amongst local authorities.

“Over the last few months, planning authorities have begun adapting to technology and this has allowed our industry to continue moving forward. Virtual committee meetings have saved time, provided clarity and sped up the overall process, something we’d like to see continued as we move into the new-normal.”