Guide to Development Management at Gateshead - page 28

Both teams are led by an Assistant Development Manager and
comprise a mix of senior planners, planning officers and a
planning technician/year out student. Both areas have a mix of
urban and rural context and present an array of planning issues
to manage.
The planning case officers deal with the assessment and
recommendation of planning applications, responses to pre
application enquiries, discharging of planning conditions and
dealing with planning appeal case work, including attendance at
any hearings or public inquiries to give evidence.
The development management planners are also involved in
other corporate work that involves a planning input (including the
forming of new planning policy and site assessments for
strategic land reviews or housing and employment land
assessments). In addition, they provide support to and work
alongside colleagues in enforcement, spatial planning, area
planning, economic development, major initiatives team,
property and design services, building control and other
development related services within the Council.
Officers have responsibility for elements of the Development
Management team plan which feeds into the Development and
Public Protection Service Plan, the Corporate Plan and Vision
2030, the Sustainable Community Strategy for Gateshead. The
three themes for the team plan are: Reviewing Processes, Value
for Money and Communication. The two main outcomes for the
Development Management team plan are the delivery of
sustainable employment opportunity and quality family housing.
The Development Management (and Building Control) team are
supported by the Technical Support Team led by the Technical
Support Manager and comprises Development Information
Officers, Senior Technical Support Officers and Technical
Support Officers. This team underpin all the technical and
administrative support systems from validation of applications,
administering appeals and discharge of planning conditions, land
search enquiries, consultations, section 106 monitoring,
preparing the Planning and Development Committee agenda as
well as information, support and advice.
Workload and Performance
Gateshead Council currently deals with approximately 1,189
planning applications every year (figures taken as an average
2009-2013). These range in size from modest house extensions
to major new housing and commercial developments.
Councils are measured by central government on the speed of
determining planning applications but we do have a statutory
duty to deal with applications in 8 weeks which is increased to
13 weeks for major applications and 16 weeks for those
applications which require an Environmental Impact Assessment.
In 2013/14 we determined in the statutory timescales:
90% major applications
81% minor applications
93% other applications which includes householder applications
We also have our own local performance indicators such as site
inspections, added value, tree applications and householder
applications where we measure our performance.
Applicants, interested neighbours and the public at large are all
customers of the Development Management service. Many have
little or no experience of how the system works and must be
treated positively, courteously and equally. The team will
always endeavour to have a customer friendly and “can do”
approach within a system that is complex and bound by certain
statutory requirements.
Service Users
Development Management keeps a list of regular users of the
service including developers, architects, builders, agents and
planning consultants. We host two service user panels a year as
part of our information sharing and service improvement cycle.
This is also supplemented with regular newsletters where we can
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