Changes on way for site notices

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Planning applications will no longer be advertised with a site notice in every case under new proposals.

The number of neighbours who receive a letter about developments will also reduce from six to four on either side of a site in measures to save £39,000.

Other changes include redesigning notices to make them more ‘eye-catching’ as well as greater reliance on online communications to advertise applications.

The changes were agreed but opposition councillors have now called for the proposals to go back to a committee for further scrutiny.

Coun Ian Auckland, Liberal Democrat planning spokesman, said: “When controversial developments are seeking planning approval, it’s absolutely vital communities and residents have the chance to make their voice heard.

“While moving to electronic communication is welcome, the removal of more traditional consultation could risk excluding the elderly and vulnerable from the debate.”

The council said it had to consider savings in all departments as Government funding had been halved.