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Planning advice

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5. Pre-Application Forum Procedure

Please note the following service is provided subject to a bespoke fee and the agreement of Teignbridge District Council.

What is the Pre-application Forum?

The Pre-application Forum is an opportunity for applicants to present their proposals to Members, Planning Officers, consultees and other bodies with an interest in the development. The forum provides an opportunity for discussion and debate to enable the applicant to gauge the likely response to their proposals.

The procedure also enables Members to gain an early insight into what is being proposed and to hear from Officers and consultees what planning constraints and opportunities will need to be considered at the formal application stage. The Forum is open to the public, but to maintain order and structure only those invited to speak can participate. It is expected that applicants will still undertake local community consultation where all local people will have the opportunity to provide feedback.

When can the Pre-application Forum be used?

The Pre-application Forum procedure is only open to applicants proposing a major development that raises issues affecting the wider community. It is not mandatory, but provides applicants with the opportunity to identify important issues at an early stage in order to reduce delay and frustration when the formal planning application is submitted.

A Pre-application Forum will only be held following initial pre-application discussions with Officers and will only be convened after the applicant has paid the appropriate fee.

Who can attend the Pre-application Forum and how will it be publicised?

The Forum will be open to the public and will be publicised by writing to properties neighbouring the site or significantly affected by the development at least 14 days in advance. In some instances a Site Notice may be appropriate as an additional means of publicity.

Who will be invited to speak at the Forum?

The number of speakers will be limited to ensure that the procedure remains manageable. The initial discussions with Officers will have identified the key consultees who should be invited to speak at the Forum. The Parish/Town Council will also be invited to speak, along with any other organisations or representatives agreed in advance with the Chairman.

Council Officers from relevant departments will be in attendance to answer questions. If you have not been invited to speak you will not be able to do so. However members of the public can submit written questions to the Planning Officer prior to the Forum, which will be put to the applicants at the Chairman’s discretion during the Forum.

Members of the public are also able to attend the meeting and to submit written comments to the Planning Officer, who will pass them to the Applicant after the Forum for consideration in the preparation of their formal planning application.

How will the Pre-application Forum proceed?

The Forum proceeds on the following basis:

  • The Chairman of the Planning Committee introduces the proposal, explains who will be speaking and identifies the procedure to be followed
  • The applicants present their proposals (maximum 30 minutes) and answer questions of clarification and information from Members and invitees
  • The invited speakers make their comments (maximum 3 minutes each) and answer questions from Members and other invitees
  • The Chairman asks the applicants written questions from Members of the public if they have not already been answered during the Forum
  • The Planning Officer clarifies any issues arising from the presentation and speakers
  • The applicant is given the opportunity to respond to what has been said by others

Does the Forum make a decision on the proposal?

The Forum is not a decision-making body; its purpose is to draw out issues that the Applicants will need to address in their formal planning application. The subsequent planning application will be determined on the basis of all material planning considerations at the time of the decision and nothing said at the Forum will prejudice that decision.

What happens after the Pre-application Forum?

Issues raised at the Forum will be recorded and posted on this website and passed to the applicant for consideration in preparing their formal planning application. Any further pre-application negotiations will be carried out with Planning Officers in the normal way.