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DECISION DISPUTE: Three Rivers could be put into special measures over planning appeals

 Published on: 2nd May 2024   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) is at risk of being put into special measures over its decision making.

New statistics regarding local authorities’ decision making have been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), covering April 2021 to March 2023. The data showed that 17.2 per cent of the major decisions TRDC has made on district matters had been overturned on appeal.

TRDC is now second on a list of councils that have exceeded the 10 per cent threshold laid out for local councils by the government.

This puts TRDC at risk of being put into special measures and could result in the removal of some of its planning powers.

One of these measures would include allowing developers to bypass having to submit their applications to TRDC, instead sending them directly to the Planning Inspectorate.

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said: “A decision whether to designate any of these local planning authorities has not yet been made.”

A spokesperson for TRDC said: “DLUHC has contacted the council in respect of its performance against this measure. The council has responded and pointed out that it considers the data to contain errors, and that the actual performance sits at 13.7 per cent rather than the quoted 17.2 per cent. The performance quoted relates to just four planning appeals for major development being allowed, out of a total of 29 decisions for major development made over the monitoring period.

“The council’s performance in respect of the other three national performance indicators remains strong. Officers have responded to the correspondence from DLUHC to set out the council’s position. Being designated by DLUHC is not automatic and as of yet no decision has been taken.”

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