Council Planning Service continues to improve

Members of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee are set be briefed on the continued improved performance of the Planning Service over 2019/20, following new Scottish Government feedback.

The performance of the council as a Planning Authority is set to be scrutinised by members on Thursday 4 February, 2021, following submission of the Planning Performance Framework 9 (PPF9) to the Scottish Government.

The Planning Performance Framework is an annual summary of the performance and service delivery by the council as a Planning Authority, and provides some examples work through case studies. It is used to show:

  • the work done in the last year
  • details of service performance in numbers
  • the ways the service will improve over the next year.

Scottish Government feedback was given on the 15 set performance markers within the Planning Performance Framework that are given with red, amber or green ratings.

The report showed positive feedback and areas with green markers include: processing agreements, early collaboration with applicants and consultees, enforcement charter, continuous improvement, Local Development Plan, regular and proportionate policy advice, working across services, sharing good practice, skills and knowledge between authorities and developer contributions: clear and proportionate expectations.

Fife Council’s Planning Service is recognised for: 

  • Continuous improvement across the planning service, including the management of projects, workforce development, and process improvement which contribute to the Plan for Fife (Local Development Plan) (insert link) and the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (insert link).
  • Improved performance in how planning applications are deal with.
  • Meeting the challenges presented by Covid-19 through agility and flexibility, for example by adopting new technology and implementing innovative approaches to ensure service continuity. New ways of working will be retained and developed to ensure future performance improvement.
Cllr Altany Craik, Convener - Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “We are pleased that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the council’s Planning Service has continued to improve while supporting businesses and facilitating local investment.

“Our Planning Authority has been nationally recognised, with the Coalfield Regeneration case study winning a Scottish Quality in Planning Award and being a finalist in the UK Planning Awards. Fife Opencast Restoration Programme was celebrated for Fife Council’s innovative approach to planning to restore land left severely degraded after the collapse of the Scottish coal industry in 2013.

“Our efforts to continually improve the service are showing positive results. Every effort will be made to ensure the highest quality of service is maintained and improved where we can for our 2020/21 submission. We see this as an opportunity to show the flexibility and agility of the planning service to meet the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to thank local people and businesses for their understanding as we adapt to new ways of working.”

Pam Ewen, Head of Planning, Fife Council, said: “We have continually reviewed the council’s planning processes and systems to embed improvements and shift the balance to green for most performance markers, and more positive feedback. Crucially, Planning Performance Framework feedback is being used to develop a program of further improvements.”

Notes for editors: The PPF9 covers the period of 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020, which was submitted to The Scottish Government in July 2020, with the feedback being received in December 2020. The PPF9 was the ninth annual submission to Scottish Ministers fulfilling the obligation placed on Fife Council to produce and submit its Planning Performance Framework aligned with the guidance and templates published by the Scottish Government and Heads of Planning Scotland.