Black Country project aims to ease planning burden

PLANNERS and business leaders across four Black Country boroughs have teamed up to launch an initiative aimed at easing the planning process and boosting development.

Council officers in Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton, along with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, are canvassing local businesses, planning agents and developers to take part in research aimed understanding how planning applications are dealt with by the four authorities.

Changes are expected to take shape through the business-friendly planning review and the LEP said it hoped the move would make it easier to increase investment in the Black Country.

The LEP said a charter was now being drafted for the four Black Country authorities to implement in the coming months, taking in findings from focus groups and an online survey.

Project sponsor John McDonough said: “We are all proud of our sub-region. We all want to see new investment take shape to create opportunity and jobs.

“Some of the ideas can be quite simple to execute but can have a very major impact by making the whole process more simple.

“It is fundamental that businesses can easily identify and access the right person at the right time and one of the proposals aims to improve how each of the local planning authorities signpost their services to customers.”