Customer Service Excellence

In July 2014, the Planning Service was awarded a national Customer Service Excellence (CSE) standard. The award is a Government initiative that aims to deliver excellent customer focused services and keep the customer at the heart of public service. It looks at areas including service delivery, timeliness and quality of service, information and access, customer insight and the culture of the service.  The CSE standard is measured against 57 different criteria.

The main activities of the Planning Service involve preparing and monitoring the local development plan and processing planning applications.  This includes applications for planning permission, listed building consent, advertisement consent, high hedge applications, prior notifications and certificates of lawfulness.  In addition, the Service deals with enforcement of planning control, appeals, reviews and the provision of supplementary planning guidance on a range of topics.  The Council’s Strategic Environmental Assessment officer is also based within the Service.

The CSE standard is valid for three years, but is reviewed every year by an external inspector. The Planning Service has been successfully reviewed every year since 2014, with the most recent successful re-assessment taking place in March 2021.

Currently, of the 57 criteria against which the Service has been assessed, we fully meet the standard in 54 areas, including 15 areas that were rated as compliance plus.  We have 3 areas that are partially compliant.

We continually strive to improve the experience of customers and invite customers and potential customers to discuss and review our service and standards. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service, please email us at

Further information on the current performance of the Planning Service can be found in the annual Planning Performance Framework.