19 January 2016
As part of its commitment to transparency the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has announced that from March 2016 it will routinely publish any advice planning officers, or the Architectural Appraisal Panel, has given to an applicant about a development proposal before the application was made. The Council is thought to be the first in the country to open its files in this way.
The Council offers a popular advice service (www.rbkc.gov.uk/advice) to those who are considering making a planning application. The advice is generally confidential between the Council 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. The advice will now be published automatically once a planning application is made without someone having to make a request under that legislation.
Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said: "The Royal Borough is already streets ahead of many other councils in the way it publishes planning application information on its website and 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.”