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The role of Alderminster Parish Council in the planning process
Alderminster Parish Council is consulted by the District Council on planning applications within the Parish.
The Parish Council does not make planning decisions (it does not grant or refuse permission).
It submits observations to the authority, which the District Council can take into account when making a final decision.
In some cases, even where an objection is raised, the District Council may decide that other planning-related considerations outweigh local concerns and permission will be granted.
In other cases, permission might be refused and the applicant will exercise their right of appeal to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate, to have the refusal reconsidered and sometimes overturned.
The Parish Council process for consulting on a planning application
When the Council receives a planning application, it will be discussed at the next full Parish Council meeting.
Planning applications are listed on our meeting agenda.
If the application is to be discussed at a formal Parish meeting, the applicant and any parishioners may attend to express their views.
However, the District Council usually requires a reply within two weeks, whereas the Parish Council only meets every six to eight weeks.
Planning authorities require quick replies because the timescales for dealing with planning applications are identified at national level and in most cases will require a decision from the District Council within 8 weeks 4 .
This often means that the Parish Council has to respond between its regular cycle of formal meetings. In these circumstances the Councillors would use their best endeavours for a quorum of the Parish Council to discuss the application.
Residents can let the Parish Council know their views verbally or in writing and/or, if appropriate, attend Parish Council meetings and voice their views.
The Parish Council will consider, but not be bound by, comments and representations made to them in arriving at its decision.
Comments need to relate to planning issues, rules and policies, and whilst these may vary with the nature of the proposal and the site, relevant issues may include for example:
• Structure Plan and Local Plan
• Government Guidance and Orders
• Case Law and previous decisions
• Highway safety and traffic
• Noise, disturbance and smells
• Design, appearance and layout
• Conservation of buildings, trees, etc
• Residential amenities.
These examples of planning matters might be ‘material’ to an application, therefore the Parish Council is entitled to make comments on any of these and other planning-related issues.
In arriving at a decision each application is dealt with on its own merits.
Issues that are not usually relevant in reaching planning decisions, whilst varying from case to case, would tend to include, for example:
• Private property rights (e.g. boundary or access disputes)
• The developer’s morals or motives
• Possible future development
• Loss of view over other people’s land
• The age, race or gender of the applicant and similar issues
• Effect on value of property.