The way planning decisions are made in Jersey will come under the spotlight after the Government commissioned an external review.
Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf has appointed a former Chief Planner to the Scottish Government to look closely at how the planning system works and make recommendations on how it can be improved.
The review, by Jim Mackinnon CBE, is expected to take three months and will analyse the way in which planning applications are dealt with, looking at issues such as customer experience, performance measures, resources, consistency, pre-application advice, post-decision services, and digital services.
Deputy Renouf said: “We need to ensure we have a planning system that is as responsive as possible, as highlighted in my recently published Ministerial priorities.
“The service in Jersey has a history of evolution arising from external reviews. The Planning Officer Society Enterprises carried out analysis in 2010, 2013 and 2019, and subsequently we’ve seen changes including protocols for ministerial decision-making, the introduction of an independent appeals system, and greater transparency in the planning process.
“However, there have been significant changes in the organisation of Planning services since the last review.
“The Government restructure in 2019 saw the creation of the Regulation directorate, within which the planning function now sits.
“A new Group Director of Regulation, Kelly Whitehead, was appointed last year and I also took up my Ministerial post in the summer.
“With so much change, this feels like the right time to take a step back to review the service and open it up to outside scrutiny.”
Pictured: The Minister said it felt like the right time to open up the service to "outside scrutiny".
Previous Environment Minister John Young said in March 2021 that his team was “badly depleted”, which had led to a backlog of 300 planning enforcement notices.
This was due to the pandemic but also a shortage of officers and difficulties recruiting them, he said.
In December 2021, an independent investigation into alleged corruption in the Planning Department concluded that there was insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution, but the evidence did suggest a “dysfunctional” system which was “not fit for purpose.”
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You guessed it, US, the tax payer.
We pay our Civil Servants and their Ministers large sums of money to do their jobs, so WHY oh Why is their a need for a further review.