Statement of Community Involvement (Draft Sept 2019)

Ended on the 8 January 2020
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

7: Consulting on Planning Applications

7.1 Overview

7.1.1 The Council determines around 2,000 planning applications each year, ranging from small householder extensions to major new residential, retail or office developments. As part of the process to determine these applications, it is important that the community and other stakeholders have the opportunity to have their views heard and considered. Effective consultation forms one of a number of material considerations in the process of determining planning applications.

7.1.2 National planning policy (NPPF para 38) requires LPAs to approach decisions on proposed development in a positive and creative way. The Council aims to conduct it's decision-taking accordingly and work pro-actively with applicants and prospective applicants.

7.2 Pre Application Advice and Consultation

7.2.1 Pre-application engagement and front-loading is encouraged (NPPF para 39-46) and is identified as having significant potential to improve the efficiency of the planning application system for all parties.

7.2.2 The Council encourages prospective applicants to seek advice on development proposals before they submit an application. A pre-application advice service is offered, the benefits of which include: identifying local issues, lowering the chance of an invalid application, and providing an understanding of local policies and requirements. Advice on what consultation may need to take place can form part of the service provided. Further information about the service and the charges that apply are available on the Council's website; Pre-Application Advice.

7.2.3 Pre-application advice is given on a 'without prejudice' basis and cannot pre-empt consideration of a formal planning application. Officers will ensure that any pre-application advice provided is robust.

7.3 Planning Applications

7.3.1 Planning legislation sets out the requirements for publishing and consulting on planning applications, specifically the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedures Order) (England) 2015 and equivalent regulations for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas. The Council will consult in accordance with the legislative requirements, as a minimum. Should these requirements be amended the Council will ensure that consultation is carried out in accordance with any revised minimum requirements.

7.3.2 Once an application has been validated by the Development Management team, the Council is required to formally consult various organisations and bodies, and is advised to contact others depending on the type of application being considered. As illustrated in Table 1 below, different types of application require different methods of publicity. In all cases the Council will ensure the requirements, as set out in relevant legislation, are met.

7.3.3 In addition Town / Parish Councils, Neighbourhood Plan Qualifying Bodies and Council Members will be consulted on all applications where there is a regulatory requirement to consult.

Question 6: For administrative efficiency and environmental reasons the Council is considering a move away from providing Parish Council's with paper copies of plans for planning applications and encouraging online viewing. Do you see any issues with this? Yes / No. If yes, please detail.

Table 1: Publicity on planning and 'other' applications

Type of application

Consultation

An Environmental Impact Assessment application accompanied by an Environmental Statement

Site Notice; and

Newspaper notice

Proposals that depart from the development plan in force in the area in which the application is situated

Site Notice; and

Newspaper notice

Development that affects a right of way to which Part 3 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (public rights of way) (a) applies

Site Notice; and

Newspaper notice

Major development (10 or more dwellings, 1,000 sq.m. of floor-space or 0.5 hectares site area)

Site Notice; and/or

Neighbour notification; and

Newspaper notice

Development affecting a setting of a Listed Building:

Site Notice; and

Newspaper advertisement

Development affecting the character or appearance of a conservation area:

Site Notice; and

Newspaper advertisement

Other full, outline and householder development:

Site Notice; and/or

Neighbour notification

Lawful development certificates (existing)

Neighbour notification where required

Lawful development certificates (proposed)

None

Advertisement consent applications

None

Prior notification applications

As required by the relevant Class within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

Hedgerow removal notices

None

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) / works to trees protected by TPOs

Site Notice when works are to fell

Notification to landowners when proposal is to serve a TPO

Works to trees in a Conservation Area

None

Discharge of conditions

None

Minor or non-material amendments to approved schemes

None

Application for permission in principle

Site Notice (14 days);

Neighbour notification (14 days)

7.3.4 The Council will notify the owner / occupier of adjoining properties about the planning application by letter. A site notice will be displayed, as required by regulations. When a site notice is required at least one site notice will be posted, on or near the land to which the application relates, for not less than 21 days unless otherwise specified in Table 1. If the adjoining property has no postal address the site notice, if required, will be relied upon as neighbour notification. Newspaper advertisements will be made in either the Harborough Mail or Leicester Mercury, as required by regulations.

7.3.5 The Council compiles weekly and monthly lists of validated and decided planning applications.

7.3.6 The time period for making comments on applications will be as required by regulations and will be set out in consultation and publicity material for the application.

7.3.7 Where a proposed development has been amended, after validation and during the development management process, it will be at the discretion of the case officer whether any or further consultation is needed. The following factors may be taken into consideration:

  • Are the proposed changes significant?
  • Did earlier views cover the issues raised by the proposed change/s?
  • Were objections or reservations raised in the original consultation stage substantial enough to justify further publicity?
  • Are the issues raised by the proposed change/s likely to be of concern to parties not previously notified?

7.3.8 If it is decided to re-consult, a timeframe of no more than 14 days will usually be set in order to balance the needs of consultees with the need for timely and efficient decision making.

7.3.9 Planning applications submitted to the Council will be available to view on the Council's website; View and comment on planning applications. Alternatively, interested parties can view an electronic copy at the Council Offices during normal opening hours.

7.4 How to make comments on planning applications

7.4.1 The regulations require that representations on planning applications must be made in writing and include the name and address of the author. Anonymous comments cannot be accepted. If individuals need help to submit a written representation support or assistance can be provided on request. All representations made within the defined consultation timeframe will be considered. Comments received after this will only be considered if a decision has not already been taken, however this cannot be guaranteed.

7.4.2 The Council encourages on-line comments to be made using the Public Access system. This allows the Council to process comments more efficiently. Alternatively comments can be sent by electronic communication to planning@harborough.gov.uk or post to Development Management, Harborough District Council, The Symington Building, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7AG.

7.4.3 All representations received on planning applications are public documents and are currently made available to view online through the Public Access System. Representations cannot be kept confidential, although personal information (e.g. name, addresses, signatures, email addresses and phone numbers) will be removed prior to publication.

Question 7: For data protection purposes the Council now removes names and addresses from planning application comments prior to publication. Do you support this change in practice? Yes / No.

7.5 Making decisions on planning applications

7.5.1 Decisions on most planning applications are made by Officers. Some applications are determined by the Council's Planning Committee in accordance with guidance published on the Council's website; Decisions on planning applications. Representations from consultation will be taken into consideration prior to a decision being taken. Where decisions are taken by Planning Committee, the Council will notify the applicant / agent and all known objectors / supporters of an application who are entitled to address the committee in accordance with the Council's arrangements for speaking at Planning Committee. Further information is available on the Council's website; Planning Committee Public Speaking.

7.5.2 Once a decision is made and all legal matters are concluded, the Decision Notice will be made available on the Council's website.

7.6 Planning Appeals

7.6.1 Anyone who has submitted a planning application has a right of appeal to the Secretary of State if it is refused, not determined within the set time period for a decision or contains conditions which the applicant considers unreasonable. Appeals are examined independently by the Planning Inspectorate.

7.6.2 When an appeal is made, the Council will publicise it as directed by the Planning Inspectorate. Any further comments made at this time should be sent directly to the Planning Inspectorate (not the Council) for their consideration. The Council will forward on all representations received on the relevant application to the Planning Inspectorate. Once received appeal decisions will be made available on the Council's website.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top