DO IT YOURSELF PLANNING
I am sure a number of people, among them Farmer C, Organic Egg guru M, the Laird and possibly even Big Jim F would agree, for different reasons with Professor Robb's letter to this weeks Berwickshire
:SIR, - The letter claiming that “planners are at the mercy of councillors” (September 4) asks what is the point in employing professionals to form and implement policy when their recommendations are overturned by councillors.
I agree, absolutely no point at all! Indeed, as I shall show, there is no point in involving the committee either.
Officials have the task of ensuring that all applications are in compliance with the rules which they have devised and which the council has approved. Only applications that are in compliance with those rules should be sent to the Area Committee.
The committee should not be allowed to open the file of any application that has been blessed by officialdom as being in compliance with the rules. Indeed, the file could come from the officials already stamped with the committee’s approval. Think of the saving in time, effort and cost! And it would be cruel and unusual treatment of officials were any councillor to open the file and question the officials’ recommendation. After all, officials are only doing what the council agreed. Obviously, there is no need for the committee to address planning applications at all.
There are wonderful unintended consequences of the council approving these all-embracing rules. By ticking a number of boxes on the application form, applicants could self-certify compliance with each rule and get immediate and automatic approval.
The tedious business of inviting comments and objections could be eliminated. Auditors could test a random sample of applications for compliance and there would be no need for planning officials at all.
Thus, there would be no opportunities for councillors to be merciless to officials, simply because there would be no officials – problem solved!
PROF. FENTON F. ROBB
This kind of simplified planning procedures is reminiscent of the Hutton Think Tank report : Do, Dirty Dogs, and Dirt Disposal (Proceedings of Htx2, Occasional Papers, Volume CLII)on the vexed question of dog poo. They recommended that the problem could easily be solved by shooting all dogs within a three mile area centred on the Hutton Village Hall. Simplicity and direct action is surely the key to dynamic and user friendly local government, they argued
Dog owners always excepted.
And the dogs of course
(Htx2 warned that of course dogs might learn to shoot back-the image from appendix 45 of their report illustrates the danger)
Labels: Inappropriate Development, Planning