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Accredited Agent Schemes (planning submissions)

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Anyone else keen on these?


I like the Planning Portal system of submissions which I find quick, easy and efficient.  There is a "Planning Champion" registration scheme which I think has now been closed to new applicants:



Smarter Planning is a Planning Portal initiative encouraging LPAs to maximise the benefits of online working. Smarter...


I also subscribe to a similar scheme which is run by Cornwall Council.



A list of Householder Planning Application Accredited Agents



Registration and validation is based upon a certain number of applications within a certain time frame and they must all comply with a certain set of qualifying criteria.  Once eligible and registered, your 'track record' is supposed to allow for fewer validation checks and quicker processing time.  This presents some advantage to the agent but the majority of the advantage, so far as I can see, is to the LA since e-copy submissions from trusted agents will necessarily require considerably less admin and processing compared to paper submissions. 


Well, received in the email today is the notice that from 1 January 2020, it'll cost £200 sobs + VAT per year just to be on the 'list.' 


Regrettably, this is interpreted as a retrograde proposal since it seems that the greater part of the benefit of having accredited agents is the reduced administrative burden upon Cornwall Council of receiving electronic rather than paper submissions where paper submissions require significantly more administrative effort from Cornwall Council to process.


Seeking to pass a substantial annual financial burden onto the agent is considered likely to result in a significant drop off in current subscribers and to have a major disincentive effect upon potential new registrations.  If these assumptions hold true, it also seems to be wholly contrary to Cornwall Council’s declared aspiration to encourage smart working and the reduction of unnecessarily wasteful practices.  


Disappointing to say the least....





Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 16.20.15.png

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Far be it from me to say "...I told you so..." to Cornwall council....


But, I did, and since the list of accredited agents has just jumped off a cliff (57 down to to 18 over night - looks like only 1 arb) with the introduction of this f*cking brain child, I hope somebody gets their ass in a sling.  


No, hold on, public sector, there is no accountability for slamming your balls in the shed door...

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