The Pre-Planning Advice service is a vehicle for planning officers to 'engage' with developers and, as one influential RA chairman said, "to help unscrupulous developers skirt around the difficult bits in planning rules, partnering them right up to the submission of the application. This cannot be in the interests of residents".
Another planning expert commented, "It's good for developers. Good for the council(extra income). Not good, as usual, for us, the unwashed masses"
The Dame says, " the council should not be taking money to help developers through the grey areas of planning: that is a job for the shady and avaricious Savills"
In future, all such pre-planning advice should be made public on the Council website.
This will prevent conflicted interests.