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Refund demand for delayed planning applications


North Norfolk District Liberal Democrat Councillors have called for refunds to be paid on planning application fees where there are significant delays in arriving at decisions.

The call was was made at the Council's Overview &Scrutiny Committee on January 13 following a report showing that the Council's planners were failing to meet their own targets for determining planning applications. Council Officers agreed to look at the proposal.

Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group Cllr Eric Seward told the Committee ' where there are long delays on a train journey passengers are entitled to a refund. When long delays occur over determining planning applications applicants should also be entitled to a refund on the fees they have paid.'

Long standing Lib Dem Cllr Virginia Gay said she was concerned about the delays facing local residents who made minor planning applications.  She said that these applications were a large part of North Norfolk's planning business and that long delays could increase both cost and anxiety for our residents.

Council officers told the Committee that a national shortage of planning officers meant it was difficult to fill vacancies in the Council's Planning Dept. Cllr Seward said that in early 2013 the Conservative-run Council had conducted a review to sort out these kind of problems. It is clear that three years later Conservative Cllrs have not done so.

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