23 July 2018
The decision to shut down Brighton & Hove Council’s Planning phone lines will lead to a summer of indecision and chaos, according to SHW’s Director of Planning.
Alex Bateman has written to Liz Hobden, the head of the council’s team, to request the phones be answered in a daily two-hour window as before. The decision to temporarily close the lines has been made to allow planners to concentrate clearing a backlog of case work – was emailed to the city’s planning professionals giving only one working day’s notice before the lines fell dead.
Mr Bateman said: “Brighton & Hove claim there has been a ‘spike’ in applications, yet we have conducted comparative research vis-a-vis Mid-Sussex District Council’s case load and B&H have slightly fewer applications to review.
“We are trying to act in the best interest of our clients, but the Council are making it very difficult for legitimate cases for positive change to occur, thus stifling the economic development of the city we try so hard to champion. I would implore Liz Hobden to reinstate the phone lines as soon as possible for the benefit of all concerned.”