Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
My Lords, I have a good deal of sympathy with the points of both the noble Lords, Lord True and Lord Shipley. I am concerned how it would be seen by the public generally, but also by those applicants who have paid for a report to be prepared, which may make a recommendation. The decision will certainly be made by the committee. That is more or less the position that operates now in the existing system. Sometimes, council planning officers’ recommendations are not accepted by the committee, and they may help appellants on appeal. However, if you are paying for that advice as an applicant, it creates a different ambience altogether, it seems to me. It makes the whole process rather more confusing and difficult for the applicant, as well as for the local authority. I hope that the noble Baroness will look again at how the process works, because it is fraught with danger for both the authority and public understanding of what is happening.