Leicestershire council has special measures lifted

A Leicestershire council that last year became the first and only district planning authority to be placed in special measures has had the sanction lifted by the government.

Blaby: council has had special measures designation lifted
Blaby: council has had special measures designation lifted

Blaby District Council was put in special measures last November, having decided only 15.2 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks between July 2011 and June 2013.

Latest planning performance figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show that Blaby Council decided 61.8 per cent of major applications on time in the two years to the end of June 2014.

The DCLG confirmed that Blaby has been removed from special measures. "Designation is about working with councils to help them raise their game, as Blaby has shown can be done," a spokesman said.

Since Blaby was designated, the government has raised the designation threshold from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of major decisions made on time.

The latest performance figures show that four authorities - Amber Valley, Christchurch, St Edmundsbury and Bromsgrove - decided fewer than 40 per cent of major applications on time between July 2012 and June 2014.

The department has written to the lowest-performing councils to determine whether or not they should face designation and will make a decision in due course.

In July, the first and only application to be made to the Planning Inspectorate under the special measures policy was rejected by inspector Jonathan King.

He refused Gladman Developments' proposals for up to 220 homes on a 17.4-hectare site off Hospital Lane, Blaby.

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