Wakefield Council warns of delays amid 'huge' rise in planning applications

Wakefield Council has warned of delays in processing planning applications, amid a 50 per cent rise in the number it is dealing with.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:10 pm

The local authority has said problems replacing staff who've left has also contributed to the backlog.

Councils are responsible for giving and refusing planning permission to proposed developments in their area.

These vary from minor extensions to private homes to sprawling new estates featuring hundreds of new homes.

The council said it had seen a 50 per cent rise in applications, compared to the same period of time last year.

Most decisions are made behind closed doors by officers, but others with greater levels of public interest are made by a committee of councillors at a public meeting.

Wakefield Council s Cabinet member for planning, Matthew Morley, asked applicants to "bear with us" during the busy period.

In a report going before full council next week, Coun Morley said: "In line with other councils across the country, Wakefield Planning Service has seen

a huge increase in the number of applications submitted to us recently.

Councillor Matthew Morley asked applicants to "bear with us" during the delays.

"The increase was noticeable from last summer but has continued into this year, with the first quarter of this year seeing the highest number of applications ever recorded.

"We always strive to deliver the best customer experience possible and have worked hard to prioritise applications - determining 50 per cent more applications than usual over the last quarter (January-March 2021).

Coun Morley added: "The increase in demand, coupled with difficulty all councils are experiencing in recruiting to vacancies unfortunately mean that currently there are some delays in processing applications."

Local Democracy Reporting Service