Agenda Item: 5 [g]
PLANNING DELIVERY GRANT 2005/2006 – KEY DECISION
Report of the Strategic Director (Community)
This report provides details of the Government‟s two-stage Planning Delivery Grant
(PDG) for Spelthorne for 2005/06 of ?584,888 plus ?52,000 for the Local
Development Framework (to follow) and recommends a number of areas of
expenditure against the PDG total of ?636,888.
? To recognise the various areas of work for which the PDG has been awarded
? To identify recommended areas of expenditure, within the planning service
and on Corporate requirements/needs.
(a) The options are listed in paragraph 4.1 of the report and show an allocation
within the planning service itself (32.5%), for IT/e-government investment
(36%) and corporate requirements (31.5%).
Making Spelthorne a better place/ Improving customer satisfaction.
Executive are asked to:
1. Note the sum of grant earned for 2005/2006 of ?636,888 and agree the
areas of expenditure as set out in the table under paragraph 4.1 of the
Agenda Item: 5 [g]
1.1 The Government announced in 2002 that a three year system of planning
delivery grants were to be introduced in 2003/04 to drive up planning
performance in both development control (DC) and policy making. In 2003/04
a minimum „floor‟ of ?75,000 was incorporated into the first grant allocation
and the payment was based essentially on development control performance
for the period 1 July 2001 - 30 June 2002. The total amount of grant
distributed to local authorities in 2003/04 was ?50 million. Spelthorne‟s PDG
for 2003/04 was ?75,926.
1.2 Executive agreed that the grant for 2003/04 which included staff appointments
and contributions toward a data capture project and a retail study.
1.3 In 2004/05 the allocation for Spelthorne was ?334,247. The criteria was
widened considerably to include such matters as housing completions and
progress toward adopting a new or revised local plan.
1.4 Executive agreed that the grant for 2004/05 would include e-delivery services,
a new enforcement, post and awards for staff.
1.5 From a total amount of grant to be distributed in 2005/06, the allocation for
Spelthorne is ?636,888, made up as follows:
(a) Area of high housing demand 72,575
(b) Progress of e-delivery of planning services 50,000
(c) Development Control Planning Performance 462,313
(d) Progress on delivering the new Local Development
Note: * This is the minimum payment we will receive due to the submission of
the LDF to GOSE within the deadline and may increase when the LDF
component is announced in May.
1.6 Summary table of PDG payments to date
2003/04 ? 75,926 (BVPI period July 01 - June 02)
2004/05 ? 334,247 (BVPI period Oct 02 - Sept 03)
2005/06 ? 636,888 (BVPI period Oct 03 - Sept 04)
Total ?1,047,061 1.7 Although development control BVPI performance is only one element of the
PDG, they do play an important part.
1.8 The comparative performance levels over the relevant three years of the grant
allocations are as follows:
Major Minor Other Applications
July 01 - June 02 10% 59% 84% 961
Oct 02 - Sept 03 40% 63% 88% 1036
Oct 03 - Sept 04 68% 78% 94% 1075 1.9 In July 2004 the government announced that the PDG would be extended for
a further three-year period.
2. MAIN ISSUES
2.1 To note the various component areas of work for which the PDG has been
awarded for 2005/06 (see paragraph 1.5 above).
2.2 To identify the areas of expenditure, both within the planning service itself, (to
maintain the levels of performance and achievement in order to maximise the
opportunity for the highest possible PDG for 2006/07), but also to identify
possible expenditure on wider corporate requirements/needs, especially in the
context of IT/e-government investment.
(a) Officers suggest that one option is to strike a balance between
channelling spending towards maintaining (and where possible
improving) performance and achievement within the planning service so
as to maximise the PDG in 2006/2007 on the one hand, and utilising the
balance of the PDG to fulfil corporate purposes, needs and objectives on
(b) There are a wide variety of alternative options.
4.1 Officers propose the following expenditure for 2005/06;
? % of PDG
(a) C/F salary increases from 02/03 & 03/04 98,700 15.5%
(b) Support work (including consultants) for LDF* 45,000 7%
(c) Support work (including appeal consultants) 25,000 4%
(d) Awards for planning staff 31,600 4.9%
(e) Health & Safety improvements 5,500 0.9%
(f) Training, team building & communication 800 0.12%
Planning sub-total 206,600 (32.5%)
(g) e-government Comino Planning project 130,255 20.5%
(h) e-delivery enhancement & data capture 100,000 15.7%
(i) Corporate objectives 200,033 31.5%
Total 636,888 (100%)
* Note: Local Development Framework
4.2 Corporate needs and objectives
Possible areas of expenditure include:
(a) To address the need to undertake additional pollution control (duties for
which three new best value performance indicators have been
introduced) funds will probably be required in 2005/06. The
Government has recently introduced revised legislation, which requires
visits to additional premises to issue pollution control licences. In
addition, the declaration of the area as an air quality management area,
and the implementation of an air quality action plan, have placed
additional workloads on existing staff (two). The pollution control
officers spend a significant proportion of their time dealing with
contaminated land as part of the planning process. This must be
carried out in a timely manner to ensure applications are dealt within
the times laid out by the Government. This has meant that existing
officers are not able to undertake many pro-active visits to sites within
the Borough that may have contaminated land, to determine what
action may be necessary to deal with any contamination. It is not yet
known how much additional work the visits to the potentially
contaminated sites may generate. It is therefore possible that a
temporary scientific officer may be required to be employed for a period
of twelve months to assist with pollution control duties, at a cost of
(b) To fund the District/Borough Council representative at SEERA (approx
(c) To fund the work generated by the new anti-social behaviour legislation
related to the control of high hedges (approx ?15,000). (d) To fund the central County-wide resource relating to the co-ordination
of traveller and gypsy issues (approx ?3,500). This issue is considered
elsewhere on the Executive agenda.
4.3 The approximate total of expenditure from the four “corporate needs” listed
above amounts to ?49,100. This leaves a balance of ?150,933. Officers
propose that the sum should be earmarked for investing in process re-
engineering with a view to introducing more efficient service delivery when
appropriate opportunities arise.
5. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
5.1 All of the relevant financial implications are set out in this report. From
government announcements in July 2004, it is clear that PDG will be made
available to local authorities for three more financial years beyond 2005/06.
No decisions have been made as to how the grant will be structured, allocated
or weighted. However, BVPIs dealing with planning applications, the progress
of the LDF and the development of e-delivery of services are likely to remain
key “earners” of PDG in the future.
5.2 Beyond 2008/09, it is likely that planning application fees will have been
increased to make local planning authorities more self-sufficient in financial
terms, and hence there is a possibility that PDGs will cease. However, no
announcements have been made to date.
6. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS / OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
6.1 There are no legal implications.
6.2 Executive is asked to note that the likelihood of earning an even higher level of
PDG in 2006/07 is limited. Whilst it is hoped that the three BVPI targets for
speed of dealing with planning applications will be achieved (and hopefully a
bonus payment also for doing so), the potential to earn the percentage
improvement payments will be difficult to achieve. For example, it is extremely
unlikely that the step change of 28% improvement on „major‟ applications will
be repeated next year (see paragraph 1.6). Hence it needs to be recognised
that the PDG may not be as high. It is also likely that other local authorities
will also improve, which may reduce the overall funds to the higher performing
authorities such as ourselves.
7. SUPPORT FOR CORPORATE PRIORITIES
. 7.1 Making Spelthorne a better place/ Improving customer satisfaction
8. OFFICER RECOMMENDATIONS
8.1 That the Executive agree the areas of expenditure of the Planning Delivery
Grant for 2005/06 as set out in the table under paragraph 4.1 of the report.
Mike Peters, Head of Planning and Housing Strategy (01784) 446352
Mike Peters, Head of Planning and Housing Strategy (01784) 446352
Councillor Gerry Forsbrey
Proposals for Allocation of Planning Delivery Grant 2005/06 - ODPM