THE Yorkshire Dales national park planners, often criticised in the past for red tape and delays, are now working better than many of their colleagues in other parts of the UK, according to figures released by the office of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
The park authority's planners approved 95% of all applications during 2002/03 compared with the national average of 85%. The service also determined 71% of all applications within the 8-week target period set by Government compared with the national average of 66%.
Andrew McCullagh, deputy head of planning, commented: "Every day, the planning team face the challenge of balancing the need to protect and maintain the wonderful Dales environment and landscape, with the needs of those who live, visit or work in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
"These latest figures demonstrate we're meeting that challenge and, by providing a personalised service to applicants including pre-applications discussions and site visits, we are able to approve a high percentage of applications for planning permission."
Planning committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at different venues situated throughout the park and the general public are invited to attend. For further information visit www.yorkshiredales.org.uk or contact the secretariat office on 01969 650456.