The planning fraternity have in recent times taken to using all sorts of threats and such to prevent Councillors from voting differently from the recommendation of those planning officers. However, it appears that, despite the system being stacked against local determination under our Blairite planning rules, almost a third of "large" housing developments refused by members against officer advice have that refusal upheld by government inspectors*.
So cue the planning fraternity turning the screw a notch further:
"However, the down side is that councils have to pick up the tab for the fees of advocates and, increasingly, external witnesses, employed to defend refusal reasons.
"The volume of these cases must also be a concern to the inspectorate, particularly given the predicted increase in appeals and government plans to speed up the system including the proposed 12-month planning guarantee."
Keep up the good work councillors, keep challenging officers and keep refusing permissions where you think it right to do so. And never forget that you're elected to think for yourself not simply to implement the recommendations of supposed "experts".
*This "research" wasn't very scientific and involves just 28 applications - treat it with caution