SEPARATION OF STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES
20. In line with this need to respect the differing interests that can exist within the council, it is essential that, not only should there be an actual and clear separation between council officials sponsoring the development and planning staff considering the application, but also that the council's handling is transparent and that the separation of interests is clearly seen and recognised. The developing/sponsoring department might want to seek professional planning representation, in a consultancy capacity, to help take the proposal forward; and it could make sense to obtain this professional expertise by appointing planning staff already employed by the council. But where this happens, any planning staff involved in promoting development should be removed entirely from any contact and involvement in the planning department's assessment and decision on the application. Maintaining a clear barrier for planning staff processing applications, from other council interests, will be an important factor in ensuring public confidence in the system and in the council's actions.