It’s official. Lambeth Council’s planning department is tops for turning applications around in record time. The borough’s planners have transformed a service that in recent years was on ‘special measures’ into one that is now one of the top three performers in London, and in the top ten percent – nationwide – for service performance.
Latest figures from the UK Statistics Authority, measured the service delivery of more than 350 authorities around the country. They were measured and ranked for planning decisions made by development type and speed of decision, and Lambeth’s planning service has shown that it is a force to be reckoned with.
As an inner London borough, Lambeth planners and the planning committee have to deal with one of the most complex and largest number of applications in the country. Past planning applications have included the iconic London Eye on the South Bank, the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall, and new spectator stands and a hotel for the Brit Oval cricket ground.
In the 2008-09 financial year, there were 1095 new homes built, of which more than half were affordable. There are currently more than 177 development schemes in progress with 3586 new residential units in the borough being provided, and a further 67 schemes will provide office, retail and commercial opportunities for business.
Councillor Lib Peck, Lambeth Council cabinet member for housing and regeneration said: “This is fantastic news. Lambeth is home to a number of iconic buildings and landmarks like the London Eye, and planners have a difficult, complex and sometimes controversial task in deciding what is feasible, sustainable, and suitable for the boroughs residents and visitors – all within given timescales.
“The fact that the service has turned around from a once failing service into one that is a top performer, is testament to the hard work and dedication of planning officers and the good work of the planning committee”.