I would like to inform readers of the good news that Brighton and Hove City Council's planning service has been recognised with a government grant of £750,000.

This is a massive increase of almost £620,000 on last year and is one of the biggest increases in the country.

It is an indication of the dedication of our staff.

The planning teams have worked exceptionally hard to improve the service and ensure it is as efficient as possible.

By the end of this financial year, the council will have dealt with more than 3,500 planning applications and the planning service is on course to exceed all its performance targets.

Figures at the environment committee showed that more than 70 per cent of minor planning applications were dealt with within eight weeks and more than 62 per cent of major applications were determined within 13 weeks. Eighty-two per cent of other applications were decided on within eight weeks. All these figures exceed the targets.

The development industry in Brighton and Hove, along with a growing number of household extensions, is incredibly vibrant.

-Councillor Bob Carden, chairman, planning applications sub-committee, Brighton and Hove City Council