The development plan approval service (DPA) offers a start-to-finish service; from identifying any issues with extent or ownership at the start of the planning stage, through to a deeds check prior to an application being made. We caught up with Colin Mitchell, Plans Officer in DPA to find out more about the part he plays in delivering the service.
Tell us a bit about your role
My role as plans officer within the DPA Team is primarily to map the first Transfer of Part (TP) house plot or flat from a large Parent Title (PT) development. In mapping the first TP, I create a mapping style that is then used by the single settlers to follow for the remaining house plots/flats within that PT.
I work alongside the legal senior caseworkers (SCW), to set up and create settle instructions that provide full mapping and legal instructions for the single settlers to follow as part of the registration process.
So in a nutshell, I create a version of a title which a single settler can quickly and easily copy.
What’s the best bit about being a plans officer?
For me what I enjoy the most about my role is the variety of work and decision making I have to deal with on a daily basis.
As well as providing mapping styles and instructions for PT developments, my role involves acting as a referral point and I always find satisfaction in helping out others when they have any mapping or registration issues that need resolved.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your role?
There are various challenging aspects to this role, as a lot of PT developments cover substantial amounts of ground and as such are developed in various stages or phases. Each phase of a development is generally covered by a separate Deed of Conditions. This means that each phase has to be considered not just separately, but as a whole to see if it has any impact on prior phases and any mapping/settling decisions have to be considered or amended accordingly.
PT developments may contain house plots, house plots with parking spaces, or flats. This means when setting up settle instructions/model titles that you have to consider all possible registration styles and adapt your instructions to suit these different styles.
What would surprise people about what it’s like to work in DPA?
Within the DPA team, everyone no matter what grade or level of expertise has to work and communicate well together. We have a 20 day Service Standard, so any issues and decisions have to be dealt with efficiently to ensure we continue to meet this challenging target.
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