Maldon District Council is to recruit three major-applications officers to take on an anticipated rise in planning applications for large scale developments.
The council has submitted its local development plan to the secretary of state and envisages the document to be adopted later this year.
Senior planning policy officer Tai Tsui told Planning: “We submitted our local plan and and as part of the ongoing discussions with major developers we are anticipating applications in the next six months or so.
“At present we don't have the experience to handle applications of such scale. We are talking projects involving thousands of houses and have not had this kind of development for more than 10 years. In preparation for that type of workload we need more staff.”
Tsui said Maldon District Council needed around 300 houses a year for the next 15 years and some of the larger schemes expected to be submitted this year were for 1,200 and 1,300 homes.
“We have a need for larger development sites that will come forward fairly soon,” he anticipated.
Tsui added: “This is a really exciting time, but it is also a very challenging time. The local plan is still being examined and developers are likely to submit applications before the plan has been approved. It will be very challenging for us to handle the situation.
“We will work with developers on planning performance agreements to agree a schedule for how applications will be processed to ensure everything moves smoothly.”
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