The decision has been made in order to keep waiting times down and to meet customer needs, following a significant increase in applications over the past five years.

Last year, the council dealt with a total of 4,390 planning and related applications across the district, made to both the council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

In particular, the planning area managed by the council has seen a significant increase in applications over the past five years, including a 54% increase in major applications and a 23% increase in minor applications.

"We need to respond to the increase in applications by making sure that the planning team is adequately resourced to meet timescales and the needs of our customers," says Cllr Susan Taylor, Cabinet Member for Planning at Chichester District Council.

"We continue to meet all of our national targets, but we are committed to providing the very best customer service, and so want to keep waiting times down and make sure that we are responsive to our customers' needs.

"Planning applications and pre-planning applications are often technical and frequently complex. We want to make sure that our officers have adequate time to meet the growing demand in this area of work."

The council now aims to appoint a new Development Manager and Planning Officer. The council also intends to alter two current apprenticeship posts into planning assistant / apprentice posts, so that they can be retained after their apprenticeship ends.

Date of Release: 7 September 2017 

Reference: 3745