Consultation draft Statement of Community Involvement

Ended on the 21st November 2014
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(1) 9. Planning Applications

9.1 HDC determines around 1800 planning applications each year, ranging from 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 get involved, to help shape the areas where they live, work and spend their leisure time

9.2 Planning legislation sets out the requirements for publicising and consulting the community and stakeholders on planning applications.

(5) The Pre-application Stage

  • Community Involvement by the Developer

9.3 Pre-application engagement with the community is encouraged where it will add value to the process and the outcome. It is mandatory to carry out pre-application consultation with the local community for planning applications for wind turbine development involving more than 2 turbines or where the hub height of any turbine exceeds 15 metres. This may take a variety of forms such as local exhibitions, public meetings, circulation of leaflets or the creation of a well-publicised dedicated website, including a facility to make comments. In every case, the Council would encourage the preparation of a consultation plan by the developer, in liaison with Council officers. This should outline the types of consultation to be used and outline how elected Councillors will be involved.

  • Pre-Application Discussions with the Council

9.4 We encourage prospective applicants to seek our views on development proposals before they submit an application. While any views we express will not bind the Council in its subsequent decision on any planning application, these pre-application discussions help to identify key issues, and help to ensure that the application closely accords with our planning policies. We usually charge a fee for pre-application advice. More detailed information on the pre-application process is available on our website (www.harborough.gov.uk).

(15) The Planning Application Stage

9.5 Once a planning application has been received and validated by the Development Management team, a process of publicity and consultation is undertaken to ensure that stakeholders and the community have the opportunity to have their say on the proposed development.

9.6 The statutory requirements for publicity in relation to ‘how’ the Council must consult on planning applications are set out in various planning orders and acts, primarily the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure Order) (England) (2010) (DMPO). These require applications to be publicised by way of neighbour notification letter, a notice in a local newspaper, or a site notice. As illustrated in Table 1 below, different types of application require different methods of publicity.

Table 1: Publicity on planning and ‘other’ applications

Type of application Consultation

For applications accompanied by an Environmental Statement, proposals that depart from the local plan or development that affects a public right of way to which Part III of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 applies:

Site Notice;

Newspaper advertisement

Major development (10 or more dwellings, 1,000 sq m of floorspace or 0.5 hectares site area)

Neighbour notification and/or Site Notice;

Newspaper advertisement

Development affecting a setting of a Listed Building:

Site Notice;

Newspaper advertisement

Development affecting the character or

appearance of a conservation area:

Site Notice;

Newspaper advertisement

Other full, outline and householder development:

Neighbour notification; and / or

Site Notice;

Lawful development certificates (existing)

Neighbour notification where required

Lawful development certificates (proposed)

None

Advertisement consent applications

None

Prior notification applications

Neighbour notification and / or site notice

Hedgerow removal notices

None

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

Site Notice when works are to fell/notify 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

9.7 The time period for making comments will be set out in the publicity accompanying the planning application. As advised by Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) this will be not less than 21 days, or 14 days where a notice is published in a newspaper. Once the consultation period has concluded decision may be taken on a planning application. To ensure comments are taken in to account it is important to make comments before the statutory deadline. Comments received after the deadline may be considered if a decision has not been taken but this cannot be guaranteed.

9.8 Where an application has been amended the case officer will decide whether any or further consultation is necessary. In deciding whether this is necessary the following considerations may be relevant:

  • were objections or reservations raised in the original consultation stage substantial and enough to justify further publicity?

  • are the proposed changes significant?

  • did earlier views cover the issues raised by the proposed changes?

  • are the issues raised by the proposed changes likely to be of concern to parties not previously notified?

If it is decided that re-consultation is necessary, a timeframe will be set for responses of usually no more than 14 days balancing the need for consultees to be given time to consider the issue that is being re-consulted upon and respond against the need for efficient decision making

9.9 All planning applications can be viewed online through the Council’s Public Access system. Alternatively, interested parties can view an electronic copy of a planning application by coming into the Council’s Offices.

9.10 We encourage people to respond online through the Public Access system. This allows us to process comments more efficiently. Alternatively, comments can be submitted by email or post. All comments must be made in writing and contain the name and address of the author. We cannot consider anonymous comments. This is to prevent a person submitting multiple submissions in favour or against the proposal. As such, anonymous comments will be given little or no weight in determining applications.

9.11 All comments received are public documents and will be made available to view online through the Public Access system. They cannot be kept confidential, although personal information (signatures, email addresses and phone numbers) is removed prior to publication.

9.12 All written representations received on all applications are summarised in the report on the application and are considered before a decision is made. Officers determine approximately 90% of planning applications under “delegated powers”. The other 10% of applications are determined by the Planning Committee, made up of elected councillors, in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation2

9.13 Planning Committee meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month (unless otherwise stated). These meetings are open to the public and arepresentative of the Parish Council, objectors, the applicant and any supporters can address the Planning Committee in accordance with the Council’s arrangements for speaking at Planning Committee. Further information is available at www.harborough.gov.uk

9.14 When an application is due to be presented to Planning Committee, the Council will inform all known objectors and supporters of the proposal of the date and time of the relevant Planning Committee as much it reasonably can, and/or make provision for such information to be available, for example through its website and online planning service.

(17) Question 5

Should the Council continue to notify all those submitting comments on planning applications about the opportunity to attend and speak at Committee should the application be presented to Planning Committee?

9.15 All Planning Committee meetings are orally recorded. After each Planning Committee the minutes of the meeting, together with the oral recording, are made available to view/listen on the Council’s website.

9.16 Once a decision is made, either at Planning Committee or through the officer scheme of delegation, the decision notice is placed on the Council’s website. When an application is still pending due to outstanding legal matters following a decision, the decision notice will be made available once the legal matters are concluded. The Council also has a complaints procedure for handling complaints regarding our standards of service and the process of handling applications

(4) Appeals

9.17 An appeal may be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by an applicant when permission has been refused, where it has been permitted with conditions which the applicant considers to be unreasonable or where the application has not been determined within the appropriate time limit. Applications for costs may be submitted as part of an appeal where an applicant considers the Council have not followed due process in determining the application.

9.18 If an appeal is made, the Council will publicise the appeal as advised 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.

9.19 For appeals that are decided through an informal hearing or public inquiry, interested parties are usually given the opportunity to appear before the Inspector. The Planning Inspectorate will consider the evidence and decide whether the Council’s decision was correct. The Inspector’s decision is binding on all parties, although it can be challenged on a point of law in the High Court.

9.20 When an appeal decision is received by the Council, we will publish the decision on our website


2 www.harborough.gov.uk/info/200074/planning/275/apply_for_planning_permission/2#decision
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