25 May 2005 - Planning Delivery Grant

By Betty Watson,2014-04-11 02:35
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within the planning service and on Corporate requirements/needs. but also to identify possible expenditure on wider corporate requirements/needs,

    Agenda Item: 5 [g]


    Resolution required

    Report of the Strategic Director (Community)

    Executive Summary

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.

    Main Issues

    ? To recognise the various areas of work for which the PDG has been awarded

    in 2005/06.

    ? 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%).

    Corporate Priority:

    Making Spelthorne a better place/ Improving customer satisfaction.

    Officer Recommendations

    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

    Framework 52,000*

     Total ?636,888

    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

    Year Grant

    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.


    2.1 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.

    3. OPTIONS

    (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

    the other.

    (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%

    for DC

    (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%

    events ______

     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

    approximately ?27,600.

    (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.


    5.1 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.


    6.1 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.


    . 7.1 Making Spelthorne a better place/ Improving customer satisfaction


    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

Report Author:

    Mike Peters, Head of Planning and Housing Strategy (01784) 446352

Portfolio Holder:

    Councillor Gerry Forsbrey

Background papers:

    Proposals for Allocation of Planning Delivery Grant 2005/06 - ODPM

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