It is not just in Croydon where getting an answer from the local council can take a while.
In neighbouring Tandridge, the planning department will be leaving their phones off the hook and their incoming emails unanswered for a whole week.
For a week from next Monday, there is to be what Tandridge Council describes as a “temporary change to our planning service”.
In a terse statement placed on the Tandridge council website, they say, “From Monday 27 February until Friday 3 March, our planning team will not be responding to emails or phone calls while it reduces the backlog of planning applications, to improve our future service.”
Those interminable minutes spent on hold with really naff corporate muzak being delivered into your ear seem likely to last even longer.
Certainly, when Inside Croydon made the call to Tandridge yesterday to seek further information, it took nearly 15minutes before we were finally put through to someone in the press office.
Tandridge employs 10 planners – around half the number on the staff in Croydon’s planning department.
Tandridge’s week-long boycott of phones and emails, a council spokesperson said, will allow them to make decisions on around 100 planning applications.
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Clearly this is not the best way to deal with delivery. All it does is hold up new applications and delay those in the pipeline requiring responses from those who have submitted them.
If there are not increases to resource time and money to deal with increased demand then this is the least problematical.
Delaying true perfectly legal developments as opposed to any old shit has financial impacts as investment has already begun and from that point time costs money to all involved including those impactedand fails to minimise those adverse impacts.
Whereas those that have not even begun are less detrimentally affected.
So best of a bad lot of choices – but hats off to Tandridge for being open and honest about it. At least everyone knows where they stand, can plan accordingly and not waste time chasing those that just do not answer at all, never say why or provide rational supported with evidence and/or deliver arrogant and inflamatory communications and display a total lack of understanding, or competence.
It is easy to see which one would prefer!
Perhaps we should take that person who took that decision and appoint them over Croydons planning and have so much less shit?
At least they didn’t swan off to the South of France for a week at Croydon Taxpayers’ expense like Jo Negrini, Heather Cheesborough and Shifa Mustafa.
Croydon have done this several times already I think – Tandridge seem to be copying Croydon’s approach. Is it possible that we think our Council is bad, but the others are worse?