The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued new guidance for planners when recording the decisions they make.
The Ombudsman receives more than 2,000 complaints and enquiries each year about English local authorities’ planning functions.
Common areas in which the Ombudsman finds fault with the decision-making process include failing to explain properly the reasons for decisions, or overlooking material considerations.
Based on real casework examples, the learning points in the report offer clear, practical steps planners can take to ensure the decisions they make are evidenced and recorded properly.
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:
“Communities can only have confidence in the planning process if councils fully and accurately record the reasons for their decisions, including the information they have taken into account to make them.
“We have created this new guidance to share the learning from our investigations with professionals about this aspect of the planning process, and to help councils improve their procedures, and services for the public, to ensure the decisions they make are as transparent as possible.”
The guidance also includes a number of good practice suggestions, along with links to relevant legislation and resources, including the framework Ombudsman investigators use to publish their own investigation decisions.
Article date: 13 September 2018