Local authorities frequently fail to explain the reasons behind planning decisions, Ombudsman says as he publishes guidance for planners.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman receives more than 2,000 complaints and enquiries each year about English councils’ planning functions.
Common areas in which the Ombudsman finds fault with the decision-making process include failing to explain properly the reasons for decisions or overlooking material considerations.
‘Communities can only have confidence in the planning process if councils fully and accurately record the reasons for their decisions, including the information they have taken into account to make them,’ said LGO Michael King.
‘We have created this new guidance to share the learning from our investigations with professionals about this aspect of the planning process, and to help councils improve their procedures, and services for the public, to ensure the decisions they make are as transparent as possible.’