My experience of CCs is mostly in Edinburgh and Fife – these LAs regularly supply their CCs with lists of planning applications, in line with CCs being statutory consultees for spatial planning. So I assumed that all LAs did so, and so assumed that lack of planning material on CC websites was due to the CCs themselves – either they chose not to or found themselves incapable of doing so.
But I may have been wrong. I found out this week that a large LA does not supply its CCs with planning lists, leaving CCs to dig through its planning portal for relevant applications.
While it may not take long to search LA planning portals, it’s an extra, fiddly call on CC member’s limited time-resources – and an understandable reason for CCs not having planning sections on their websites. And I have another task – finding out how prevalent this is in Scotland’s 32 LAs. Watch this space!
Update – not as bad as I feared
While the LA in question may not actually email its planning lists, it does make them pretty well available on page directly available from its main community councils web page. The lists are searchable PDFs, in which applications are grouped by CC. However, this doesn’t help if a CC wanted to find applications that would affect it but aren’t directly in its area – the CC would need to read through a fairly dense 30-page document. it would also be more efficient if each application in the list had a direct clickable link to the LA’s planning portal.
It would also be better if the LA emailed the lists – or links to them – as each was created. However, it no longer appears that the LA is hiding planning information from its CCs.