When a recommendation has been made against an application, the powers delegated to senior officers or members of the planning committees enable them to make a determination on the proposals.
Determination under delegated powers
For applications which can be determined under delegated powers, where a recommendation is agreed the senior officers will authorise that recommendation and a decision is issued by the local authority to the applicant. Where the applicant has an agent acting on their behalf, this decision is sent to the agent. A copy of this decision is also uploaded to public access for public viewing and the information on this section of the website will change accordingly.
Issuing a decision under delegated powers has become a streamlined process, and the use of technology enables planning decisions to be emailed directly from the administration team within the planning department to the applicant or their agent. Providing an up to date email address will greatly assist in the speed of communication.
Please note, we no longer notify local residents or those who commented on the application when a decision is made under delegated powers.
Determination by Members of the Planning Committees
When an application is heard at a planning committee, the recommendation of the professional officers dealing with the case is considered by members of the committee. These recommendations are set out within reports that are published on an agenda for each meeting. Members of the committee will read these reports and have access to all the relevant documents and information in the same way that the public have access.
For details of committee meetings and agendas, please click here.
During the committee, officers dealing with the case present the application. They use visual and verbal descriptions of the development, and provide an overview of the key issues. Any updates that need to be provided are given during this presentation.
The public have the opportunity to speak following this presentation. Public speaking is made in accordance with the council’s public speaking protocol for planning committees.
To view the public speaking protocol click here
After public speaking has finished, members of the committee will direct any questions they may have about the application to the officers of the council. These may be technical, and can be direct to the appropriate officer or consultee. It is not uncommon for a number of officers from different departments to be present at the committee so that its members can receive full and informed advice. Following this, the committee debates and discusses the merits and issues of each application with the guidance and authority of the Chair of that meeting.
A proposal will be made, which must be seconded by an additional member of the committee. This proposal will usually be to approve or refuse the application in line with or against the recommendation of the planning officers involved. In some cases, members of the committee can propose that a site visit be undertaken so that they can fully consider the application. Members can also seek to alter the recommendation of the officers, which sometimes includes the removal of or insertion of conditions or other requirements. When a proposal has been made, a vote will take place and the outcome of this vote will ultimately determine the decision that the planning committee makes on that application.
Decision notices often come with an attached list of conditions. Where planning permission is granted with conditions, the permission stands subject to these conditions being met. Usual conditions require the development to commence within a set time period of 3 years, and in accordance with an approved set of plans.
Other conditions may form part of a planning permission and must be adhered to in order for that development to benefit from permission. Certain conditions require additional information to be submitted. These conditions will usually be imposed to secure precise details and further information that was not submitted with the planning application. This type of condition may prevent development from starting until the details have been agreed, or may require certain aspects of the work to have this information submitted and agreed before it can begin.
Where permission is granted subject to conditions that require further information to be submitted, an application to discharge those conditions must be made in order for the permission to remain valid. Failure to discharge the conditions and comply with the requirements of a permission may result in enforcement action being taken.
Details of how to apply for a discharge of conditions can be found here.
Appealing a decision
There are no third party rights to appeal a decision made on a planning application. This remains the right of the applicant and means that people who object to or support an application cannot lodge an appeal for this planning decision to be reviewed.
The planning inspectorate determine appeals made against decisions that the council makes on planning applications. Details of how to appeal against the decision of the council on your planning application is provided within the decision notice issued to you. This decision will set out the reasons why the application has been refused and in some cases it may be advisable to contact the case officer to discuss this. If there are significant issues relating to the proposal, it may be advisable to submit a pre-application enquiry to discuss ways in which these can be overcome through a more formal channel.
Judicial review does enable members of the public a right for review of the decision making process. It does not, however, look into or explore the merits of a planning application. A review can be a lengthy, complex and expensive process and it may therefore be advisable to seek independent advice.
Planning Aid is a service which provides free, independent and professional advice on planning matters to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay professional fees to employ a planning consultant. If you feel that you need assistance in making your views about an application or decision known, Planning Aid may be able to help. For more information, please visit www.rtpi.co.uk/planningaid
or phone 0330 123 9244.
The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to provide some information on civil matters relating to planning applications. In some cases, it is advisable to contact your solicitor for legal advice if a development affects your property or raises civil issues such as access, ownership or covenants.