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Planning peer challenge

During 2022, Lancaster City Council requested a planning service peer challenge as part of its desire to deliver continuous improvement. This challenge, in the form of a review of the council’s planning-related functions, was independently undertaken by the Local Government Association (LGA) with the Planning Advisory Service (PAS).

The peer challenge was not an inspection. The challenge was delivered in a constructive and enabling way that helps the local authority identify strengths and areas where improvements might be made to support their wider planning objectives. 

As part of their Challenge, the LGA/PAS Team toured the district and carried out a series of interviews and workshop events. They also observed meetings of the council’s planning regulatory committee.

The LGA/PAS final report, published in January 2023, considers that the council’s planning service is “performing very well in many areas”. The report includes many positives.  It also includes a list of recommendations which will enable the council to improve further.

In response to the LGA/PAS final report, the council has published an implementation plan for 2023/24. This plan summarises the report findings and recommendations, and then sets out a work programme for the next 12 months. It also describes how progress will be monitored.

The council has been reporting progress regarding the Implementation Plan to its Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  In addition, the council welcomed back the LGA/PAS Team to the district to conduct a Progress Review in February 2024.  The LGA/PAS team acknowledged that significant progress had been made across all areas of the recommendations and the local planning authority has also risen to the new challenges that have occurred since the original Peer Review.

Last updated: 07 March 2024

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