Winchester's Planning Pledge to Rural Businesses
20 Jan 12
The Wessex Conference Centre at Sparsholt College was the place to be on 19 January as Winchester City Council launched its new Planning Guidance for Rural Businesses at their impressive Rural Planning Workshop.
The workshop included keynote speaker George Hollingbery MP for Meon Valley, who confirmed the Government’s commitment to the new National Planning Policy Framework due for introduction in April and slashing red tape where this was a definitive barrier to entry or heavy burden on business that stifles growth; and Councillor George Beckett, Leader of the Council who underlined the local position.
Simon Finch, Head of Planning Management at the Council, then addressed the workshop explaining the need for the new Guidance but more importantly, outlining the Council’s pledge to rural businesses in helping planning applicants through the minefield that is the planning process. In response to questions from the floor, Simon assured delegates that with the introduction of new Rural Planning Advisors, the planning process from pre-application to full submission should be much more ‘customer friendly.’ Noted were delegates concerns regarding the length of time it takes for planning applications to be dealt and the escalating costs incurred.