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How are planning applications processed?

What happens next? Application registered
We will send you a letter confirming receipt of your application and check that you have sent the correct information for the type of application and the fee has been paid. We try to resolve minor issues by phone or email, but if an application is significantly incomplete it will be returned with a letter saying what is required. Once we have received all the information we will send you a second letter with the name of the Case Officer and our target date for reaching a decision. We will also tell you whether we think further information would help to process your application.

Consultation period (Parish/Town Council, neighbours, consultees)
We then consult the local Parish/Town Council, neighbouring properties and internal and external consultees. We will produce a press advert and display the full details of your application on our public access web pages using the application number. We will not publish your personal information e.g. your signature, telephone number, email address.

Plans, drawings and material submitted to the council are protected by the Copyright Acts (Section 47, 1988 Act).  You may only use material which is downloaded and /or printed for consultation purposes, to compare current applications with previous schemes and to check whether developments have been completed in accordance with approved plans.  Further copies must not be made without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

You can view or make comments online - I have read and agree to abide by the terms of this copyright notice - Planning applications online.

Site visit made (site notice put up)
The Case Officer will visit the site, normally without an appointment, to assess the application, display a site notice and take photographs. They will rarely inspect a proposal from adjoining land. The Officer will research the history of the site and will consider the relevant issues. They will also undertake any further consultations they think necessary.

Comments/consultations taken into consideration
All comments received about the proposal will be displayed on our website,  as will any communication between the Council and the applicant/agent. Any comments considered inappropriate will only be available to view on the 'paper' file.  In order to ensure they are considered before a decision is made, comments must be received, preferably online, before the earliest decision date shown on our public access pages.

Officer writes up report
The Case Officer will then write a Parish Briefing Note to inform the Parish/Town Council and others about the key issues. On relevant applications they will also advise the applicant/agent whether any contributions are needed. These have to be agreed before a decision is reached and strict deadlines apply.

Amendments to applications
Applications normally have to be determined as submitted in order to meet government targets, so there is little chance to make revisions in light of comments received. However, the Council is aware of its duties to help applicants and will accept amendments where possible, and within strict deadlines. It is possible that a re consultation will take place if an application is amended.

Agreement to pre-commencement conditions
For all decisions on planning applications made on or after 1st October 2018 the Council are required to seek your agreement to any pre-commencement conditions that they propose. In these cases, a letter will be sent asking for your permission and will include the details of the pre-commencement conditions that would be imposed. Our letter will include all the pre-commencement conditions that we anticipate at the time of writing but it may be that some of these conditions can be resolved through the submission of further details during the application process where this would not prejudice our determination period.

The agreement to conditions is sought without prejudice to the determination of the planning application. 

If no response or comments are received within 10 working days of our letter we are entitled to impose the conditions. This date is clearly stated in the letter

We welcome pre-application advice to enable early identification of the details required to be submitted as well as the identification of possible conditions. In addition, the submission of as much detail as possible with your formal planning application is encouraged so that pre-commencement conditions can be limited in number.

Decision by officer using delegated powers
Most applications are determined by Officers using delegated powers. This means that an application accords with policy, the local Parish/Town Council do not have a contrary view and District Councillors have not asked for the matter to be considered by Planning Committee. We will issue the decision together with any conditions imposed and place it on our website. We do not notify those who showed an interest in an application about the decision.

Application recommended to Planning Committee
If an application is recommended to Committee it will be placed on the first available agenda. You can attend the meeting and listen to the debate. If you have submitted comments you will be invited to speak. This option is only available if you have responded to us and booked your slot to speak.

Please note we rarely contact applicants once an application has been submitted and we routinely determine applications as submitted. This being the case we stress the benefits of our pre application service and would advise applicants to check the progress of their application and the comments received through planning applications online.

Updated: 18 Sep 2018
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