Council discuss the future of planning services in Hackney

Hackney’s approach to planning services was the subject of debate at recent Town Hall meeting.

The Council s Living in Hackney Scrutiny Commission presented a review to Cabinet and Council Members which highlighted two major challenges faced by Planning Services; firstly to protect the borough’s historical landmarks whilst continuing to meet modern needs and reach the Local Development Framework and secondly how to meet the rising aspirations of the borough’s population without the public resources previously available.

The Commission came up with several recommendations for improvement of the planning service; including better engagement with local community groups, making better use of ward councillors to act as independent champions and finding additional ways to promote new planning applications that appear on the Council s website, so that as many people as possible are aware of applications that might affect them.

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Chair of the Living in Hackney Scrutiny Commission, said: “Urban planning is an issue of considerable importance at the local level, and one that frequently raises contentious issues amongst local communities. This review has shown us that the planning service faces a number of pressures. As a result, we ve made recommendations for using new technology to strengthen local engagement and consultation."

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