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Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Prospero Planning originally took on a short-term assignment with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council (BGCBC) to help clear a backlog of 25 planning applications. Nine months later, we were still working with BGCBC, having become an indispensable part of the team.

We originally joined to help evaluate and make recommendations on a backlog of householder and minor planning applications that had built up due to a number of factors including IT issues and staff absences.

Working remotely, we quickly integrated with the team to take on the caseload, and when a senior staff member left, we took on more responsibilities, working with agents, applicants and consultees to process applications and provide advice on minor dwellings/change of use cases.

Our flexible approach and local planning authority experience meant we could easily step in when there were further capacity issues in the team during our commission with minimal management overhead, avoiding delays for applicants and relieving pressure on the team at a challenging time.

“Although we have used consultancies in the past for one off commissions, we hadn’t contracted out a caseload before. We had acute staffing issues which had led to a backlog of work in the development management service. We wanted a consultancy who understood the public sector perspective and could pick up an immediate caseload of planning applications. From the outset, Prospero understood what we needed and continue to provide much needed capacity to the Team. The allocation of work requires a minimum of management from the LPA side and we are very satisfied with the speed and quality of their work. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Steve Smith, Service Manager Development & Estates, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Every member of the Prospero team has extensive first-hand experience in LPAs and understands the daily challenges of life as a planner – and the headaches faced by every Head of Planning.

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