This page contains a description on how a planning application is processed from submission to the issue of a decision notice, including who we will notify on an application, how to comment, and who determines the application.
Once an application is submitted we will check it to ensure that the forms are properly completed and that all the required documents and the correct fee is included. If further details are required, a letter will be sent to the applicant or agent usually within three working days.
Once complete, we will formally acknowledge the application and the proposal details will be entered onto the Planning Register. Once registered, all applications become a public document and may be inspected at the Council Offices and on the Public Access Pages of the Council's website. A weekly list of applications can be viewed on the PublicAccess web pages.
A planning application file is made up and delegated by the Development Control manager to a planning officer.
How to comment on an application
The planning system allows opportunities for both public and private interests to make representations on the proposals as a third party.
While we will take account of all representations received, it must be remembered that the planning process is in place to ensure that, in the development of land or buildings, the public interest is taken fully into account. Whenever we receive representations to a proposal we will consider them fully which may result in an amendment to the proposal.
You can submit comments to the case officer in a variety of formats. You may e-mail comments by using the firstname.lastname@example.org address. Please ensure that you quote the application reference number, the address of the application site and your name and address.
Alternatively, you may post any comments you have to the main Council Offices or submit comments via the PublicAccess pages of the website. You will need to navigate yourself to the application you wish to make a comment on (input the application reference number and search. Then 'click to view' which will take you to a page to allow you to submit comments to the application online). Comment on an Application using Public Access
Further information can be found on the How to make representations on a Planning (or associated) Application page of the web site.
It must be remembered that any representations that are made will be made available for public inspection in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Access to Information Act (1985). This means that objections to a planning application are not confidential. This is a result of the decision by Parliament that there should be greater access to information which we use in making our decisions.
Consideration of the Planning Merits of the Proposal
The planning officer will undertake a site visit and will then assess the application in the light of comments received from the consultation process together with local, regional and national planning policy and other material planning considerations.
Who Determines the Application?
An application may be determined by either the Development Control Committee or by officers using delegated powers. The majority of applications are determined under delegated powers.
The current delegation agreement is as follows:
All matters submitted to the local planning authority may be dealt with by officers under delegated powers except when it is considered that the proposals should be determined by the Development Control Committee. This may occur in the following circumstances:
1) a request is made by a ward member;
2) approval of an application is recommended which is contrary to agreed Council policy, such that its approval would represent significant departure;
3) in the view of the Director of Community Services, Head of Built Environment or the Development Control Manager, in consultation with the Chairperson and or Vice Chairperson an application is of significant public interest, and or is believed to be controversial;
4) the application is made by a member or officer of the Council.
With regard to (1) any request shall be made in writing (which shall include emails) and within the 21 day period identified on the weekly list of applications. Such requests shall give a reasoned justification for the application being considered at committee rather than under delegated powers.
With regard to (2) and (3) matters to be taken into account include issues of consistency, previous decisions relating to the application site, and possible conflict with the Council's corporate policies.
If an application is to be determined by the Development Control Committee, the planning officer will write a detailed committee report detailing relevant planning considerations of the proposal and will include a recommendation on the application. The application will be discussed by members of the Development Control Committee. The committee may resolve to approve, refuse or defer determination of the application. There may also be the opportunity for the applicant and anyone who has made representations on an application to address the committee. Further information on the public speaking arrangements can be found on the Speaking at the Development Control Committee page.
If an application is determined by officers under delegated powers the planning officer will write a report detailing the relevant planning considerations of the proposal and will include a recommendation on the application. The report and application will then be checked by an officer to which the delegated powers apply to and the recommendation will either be agreed or altered accordingly.
When a decision has been made the formal decision notice will then be produced and sent out to the applicant or agent and a copy of the decision notice will be uploaded to the public access pages of the website.
When should the application be determined?
We aim to determine most planning (and associated) applications within the statutory periods set out by central government. This is generally within eight weeks of a valid application being made. The main exceptions to this are as follows :
- non-material amendment application - four weeks
- tree Works in a Conservation Area - six weeks
- major Development - thirteen weeks
If the Local Planning Authority does not make a decision within the statutory time periods the applicant has the right to appeal against the non-determination of the application. Further details of this procedure can be found on the Planning (and associated) application appeals web page.
Last updated: Tuesday, 2 September 2014 10:09 am