St Albans City and District Council is planning to increase its permanent staff numbers to help manage a rapidly growing number of planning applications.
According to Simon Rowberry, interim head of planning and building control, the council has seen major year on year increases in the number of planning applications, culminating in a figure 3,521 in 2013/14.
Figures for 2012/13, he believes, show St Albans was the busiest planning authority in the East of England last year.
Rowberry said: “We have been using temporary staff to help handle the increase in the number of planning applications.
As we anticipate that this high level of planning applications is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, we have decided to increase the numbers of permanent members of staff overall.”
As part of its new strategy, the council is looking to appoint a permanent town planning officer at deputy area team leader level, and another at the same level to cover maternity leave.
“[These planners] will join a council that is investing in the district’s future by building three new leisure centres,” Rowberry continued. “It has also secured Lottery funding for a £6m project to transform our town hall into a museum, gallery and visitor information centre.”
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