How one LPA shaved two weeks off application determinations
Back in April I told you about Bristol City council and its newly launched Agent Accreditation Scheme.
Six months on and the scheme is going from strength to strength. Our head of LPA engagement Scott Alford recently attended their first meeting between the agents and the local authority.
As part of the scheme, participating agents have to attend one of two annual meetings with the council’s planning team to let them know how the scheme is working.
The general view from the agents was that this is a positive scheme as evidenced by quicker decisions on household applications, including one decision received after just four weeks.
Bristol agreed to share the key statistics from the first six months:
- 58 Agent Accreditation applications received in the first six months
- 69% decided within 6 weeks (compared to 9% of all Householder applications)
- 76% of applications on the case officer desk within 24 hours
- 58% submitted via the Portal
- 54% of fees paid by cheque
- 33% of fees paid by Bristol’s Paying Online process
- 1.3 days the average time to reach case officer’s desk
Missing the 24 hour target was largely a result of payments by cheque slowing up the process and the application not initially being identified as an accreditation application.
To help with this, Agents asked to ensure they used an ‘Accredited Agents Checklist’ (Part of the scheme’s commitments), and to look at other ways (other than a cheque) to pay the planning fees.
Bristol City Council can support payment via their own website to let the applicant pay immediately and is also reviewing the introduction of telephone payments. (Both options will be available via the Portal if approved.)
The conclusion of the meeting was that the scheme has been positive and that it should carry on until a review in April 2013.
I know there are many Agent Accreditation Schemes operating all over the country. I’d be happy to maintain a list of these schemes on the blog or on the Portal as long as you let me know where they’re running.
If you want to let me know about a scheme please let me know by adding a comment below.