Council awarded £85,000 from Planning Skills Delivery Fund

We’re delighted to announce that the Council has been awarded £85,000 from the Planning Skills Delivery Fund, following the submission of a bid in September 2023.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Planning Skills Delivery Fund provides support to local authorities to help clear backlogs of planning applications and address skills gaps.

The Council’s bid asked for the following:

  • ‘capacity’ money to assist in dealing with Planning Applications, and to allow the time to consider a review of the Local Plan and key policies.
  • ‘capability’ money to assist in carrying out a review of the islands’ conservation area.

What is changing as a result of this funding

In 2024, the Planning Department will be working with South Downs National Park Authority to use the ‘capacity’ money.

This means that between 8 January and 31 December 2024, many of our applications will be handled remotely by Planning Officers from South Downs National Park.  However, throughout this period the Council of the Isles of Scilly will retain sovereignty over planning decisions, and they will be issued in the normal way, meaning either:

  • under the delegated authority of the Chief Planning Officer, in accordance with the Council’s Scheme of Delegation; or
  • as determined by Members at Full Council.

All decisions will be assessed against the Isles of Scilly Local Plan, National Planning Policy and within statutory procedures for Local Planning Authorities.

Also, during 2024, the ‘capability’ money will be used to review our conservation area, in line with our statutory requirement to do so. We will also be working with a Conservation/Heritage Specialist to produce a Conservation Area Character Statement and Management Plan, which will inform planning decision making as well as policy making, including informing a future review of relevant policies of the Local Plan.

Cllr Dan Marcus, Lead Member for Planning and Regulatory Services said: “The Council welcomes this award. Working closely with the South Downs National Park team will give us the additional time we need to focus on planning policy development on the islands whilst continuing with the day-to-day business of processing planning applications.

The creation of a Conservation Area Character Statement and Management Plan is equally important. Development on Scilly must preserve and enhance the character of the islands and this document will enable developers, decision makers and the wider community to fully understand what is significant about the conservation area designation – for example how development affects important open spaces, historic buildings, archaeological features and the evolution of the landscape.”

If you have any questions about this, please either email the planning team at or call 01720 424456 to leave a message with your name and number so we can call you back. 

Publishing date: 
Friday, 5 January, 2024