A NEW director of environment will take over at Carmarthenshire Council from departing post-holder Ruth Mullen.
A meeting of full council was told that it was her decision to leave, and that she would do so on December 31.
Her successor will be an interim appointment for a period of up to 12 months.
Chief executive Wendy Walters has indicated a preference for an internal appointee, and with that in mind applications will be limited to council heads of service and directors.
The new interim director will lead a 1,257-strong workforce and have a combined revenue and capital budget of nearly £60 million per year.
Councillors approved the proposed recruitment arrangement and the role’s main duties and job profile, which include ensuring efficient processing of planning applications, providing “high visibility” leadership, supporting the head of regeneration in engaging with prospective developers and investors in “a proactive manner”, and promoting the council’s environmental sustainability approach.
The council’s planning department was criticised in 2020 by external consultants brought in the authority, and then by Audit Wales in 2021.
The authority has said it is working to address the issues raised, and that backlogs on enforcement and determining new applications were being reduced.
Ms Mullen’s salary in 2020-21 was £131,721, according to the council’s statement of accounts.