London council to routinely publish official advice on applications
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has announced that from March it will routinely publish any advice planning officers, or the council’s architectural appraisal panel, has given an applicant about a development proposal before the application was made.
The council is believed to be the first in the country to open its files in this way.
The council offers a popular advice service to those who are considering making a planning application. The advice is generally confidential between the planning authority and the customer, but can be published following a request under the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations once a related planning application is made.
Under this move the advice will now be published automatically once a planning application is made without someone having to make a specific request.
Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for planning policy, said: “The borough is already streets ahead of many other councils in the way it publishes planning application information on its website.
This is another step in our commitment to being transparent. Everyone will be able to see the advice our officers have provided, how they have fought to get improvements to development proposals and how they have encouraged applicants to engage with those who might be affected.”