A pat on the back has been given by councillors to Powys planners as they note the volume of work being done in the department.

A total of 935 planning applications were lodged with Powys County Council in 2023/2024 up to the end of December.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning committee councillors received a report on planning performance which covered the available data from the last year.

Of the 935 planning applications, 747 were decided with 526 being approved and 90 were refused.

The number of applications rolled over into the following quarter were 524 from April to June, 502 from July to September and 547 from October to December.

Planning professional lead Peter Morris said: “It’s an update on the quarterly performance data that we send to the Welsh Government as a planning authority.”

He added that the January to March data would be sent soon.

Mr Morris said: “We actually do more work than is reported to Welsh Government, as they don’t include agricultural notifications, conservation area consents, trees are not included either.

“There’s no obvious rhyme or reason as to why the number of applications we receive varies, it just shows the volumes of work that officers are dealing with.”

He pointed to the number of withdrawn planning applications which was 44 for April to June 2023/2024, 26 for July to September and 47 for October to December.

Mr Morris said: “You can see the number varies and these are applications where the applicant and their agent agree to withdraw as we are not satisfied with something and may need a lot of work to remedy it.

“They are able to resubmit within 12 months without paying a second fee.”

The key data that the Welsh Government wants is around the time it takes to decide planning applications.

This average time was 159 days for April to June 2023/2024, 154 days for July to September and 102 days for October to December.

This is well above Welsh Government target of 56 days or eight weeks.

Mr Morris said: “Over the period we see an improvement, 102 days is the best we have done for some time.

“Within time period is a percentage performance measure and it includes agreed time extensions with applicants”

The show that Powys planners from April to June 2023/2024 decided 90.44 per cent within the 56 day period, from July to September this was 85 per cent and 86 per cent from October to December.

Mr Morris said: “The highest category of good is set at 80 per cent and we’re exceeding that each quarter which is positive.”

The data also includes appeals made against the decisions of Powys planners.

From April to June 2023/2024, two appeals were lodged, and one was successful, July to September four appeals were lodge with one being successful and from October to December six appeal were lodged one being successful.

Mr Morris explained that the benchmark for dismissed appeal is 66 and that Powys were “generally positive.”

He added that the committee would receive more performance reports in the future.

Cllr Huw Williams said: “We need to give the officers a pat on the back as it’s a significant number of applications.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Karl Lewis said: “I think we all agree that’s a very positive report, there’s a lot of hard work going on in the planning department.”

The committee noted the report.