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Planning applications

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5. Who makes the planning decision?

Around 90% of decisions are made by Planning Officers under delegated powers and only around 10% are considered at a Planning Committee Meeting.

Planning Committee

 Applications are only considered by the Planning Committee for one of the following reasons:

  • at the request of a Ward Member for the Ward in which the application is sited or a neighbouring Ward, for a valid planning reason
  • at the request of the Chairman of Planning Committee, for a valid planning reason
  • at the request of Parish/Town Council for the Parish in which the application is sited, for a valid planning reason
  • if it is a major application (10 or more dwellings/site area 0.5 hectares or more/floor space 1,000 square metres or more) which is recommended for approval and is a departure from the Development Plan
  • if a member of staff or councillor is the applicant or owns the site

If an application goes to committee all comments already made will be summarised in the committee report and so there is no requirement to send further comments for planning committee.  However if any additional comments are received after the report has been written and before midnight on the Thursday prior to committee they will be included in a late updates sheet. Any comments received after this time cannot be considered.  

 Anyone who has commented on the application will be notified of the committee date and time and advised that they may apply to speak at the planning committee meeting

The agenda will be published 5 days before the committee. The Committee Report (from the agenda), late updates sheet (normally uploaded on the Friday afternoon before committee) and decision (from the minutes) will be uploaded to the planning file at view and comment on planning applications 

Planning Committee Meetings are held monthly at the council offices and can be watched by the general public from the public gallery or online.  For dates of future committees and all agendas,  minutes and details of how to watch online, please see Committee dates, agendas and minutes.  

An application may not be referred to planning committee if it concerns a matter of technical appraisal, fact or legal opinion; or has a fixed determination period; or does not have a statutory public consultation requirement. These include for example:

  • consultations
  • notifications and prior approvals
  • permission in principle
  • certificates of lawfulness
  • screening and scoping opinions
  • advertisements
  • hazardous substances applications
  • public right of way orders
  • works to protected trees
  • hedgerow notifications
  • high hedge remedial notices
  • reserved matters applications

Further details on the delegation of applications are laid out in the constitution in particular, Section 6, Schedule 5 and 6, page 14 to 20