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York Council Moves Towards Paperless Planning


2:51pm 6th March 2013

City of York Council’s planning consultation process is set to go paper free, which will mean all consultations on new planning applications will be sent electronically, if approved at a Cabinet Member decision session next week.

The council has been working to minimise printing costs and reduce the time taken to distribute planning application consultations via paper copies. Currently over 40 per cent of applications to the council are received entirely electronically, meaning that paper copies have to be printed at significant cost to send out hard copies to consultees who have not yet adopted electronic working.

If approved, the council will roll out electronic consultation (E-Planning) with Parish Councils and Planning Panels (PCs and PPs), most of whom still receive paper copies. Training will be provided for PCs and PPs on E-Planning facilities.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “The council’s planning application system is now electronic based using it’s website in conjunction with the National Planning Portal. It offers customers a smoother and quicker application experience, and allows ready access to the documents for other interested parties.

“We need to complete the switch to the new system as quickly as possible to obtain the full economies from getting rid of the old paper based system and the bureaucracy surrounding it. We recognise some Parish Council’s and planning panels are not yet geared up for this and will work with them to move onto the new system.”

It is anticipated that for ease of viewing more complex documents be made available on request in paper form where there is not suitable electronic access for meetings. Larger files could also be made available for collection from the council offices or delivered to the PCs and PPS.

Following approval, the new arrangements will be phased in as training is rolled out to the Parishes and Planning Panels.  To view the council’s planning website please visit www.york.gov.uk/planning

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