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Planning Application Consultation Response Procedure

(from Playford Parish Council Meeting: 6 July 2011)

Introduction

The Parish Council is consulted by SCDC and SCC on planning applications. Responses are usually required within 23 days, a time frame which is at odds with the frequency of Council meetings.

It was therefore agreed at the last Council meeting to investigate the creation of a Planning Committee to determine the Council's responses to planning applications between meetings.

This paper sets out advice from SALC, the issues involved and proposes that Council meetings should be held as and when necessary to determine planning application consultation responses.

Advice from SALC

Is as follows:

  • decisions on planning matters should not be delegated to the Clerk; planning is an important Council function
  • in the event that a response is required to a planning application consultation between Council meetings, the Council's view should be resolved by either a Planning Committee or a specially convened Council meeting
  • the quorum for either the Committee or the Council meeting is three
  • dates can be fixed for a meeting of the Committee/Council every 23 days throughout the year (unless a Council meeting is to take place anyway), with public notice of cancellation being given if there is no application to be considered
  • alternatively Committee/Council meetings can be arranged as and when necessary
  • whether fixed ahead or arranged on an ad hoc basis, each Committee/Council meeting needs public notice given of the Agenda and to be minuted, as with usual Council meetings
  • meetings of the Committee/Council are to be short and only consider the relevant application(s)
  • the meeting venue should be open for 30 minutes/1 hour before the meeting in order that members of the public can view the plans if they wish and make any representations to Councillors. (Note: Councillors should not give their views before the meeting, but should determine them within the Committee/Council meeting.)

Issues:

Planning Committee or Council meeting?

There are two advantages to all Councillors being involved in planning matters:

  • everyone maintains a knowledge of planning matters and development proposals in the parish
  • having a quorum is less likely to be a problem

In consequence there seems no advantage in creating a separate Planning Committee.

Fixed Meetings or Ad Hoc?

It is considered that having meetings fixed ahead is more burdensome administratively; notice of cancellation needs to be given. In addition Councillors will need to keep the dates free if meetings are fixed; ad hoc meetings can be arranged on dates to suit Councillors' availability.

Village Hall Room Availability

This will need to be checked before meetings are convened.

Resource Implications

Administrative time will be required to arrange and service the meetings. There is also the cost of hiring the Hall; a note of the length of meetings needs to be kept for billing.

Notifying the Neighbours

This will be less burdensome for Councillors than at present and will merely require a note giving details of the application and the date and venue of the meeting and the arrangement to view plans to be delivered.

Proposal

That the Council resolves to meet on an ad hoc basis to determine its response to planning application consultations

Addendum to Planning Application Consultation Response Procedure

(from Playford Parish Council Meeting: 4 July 2012)

In addition to the Response Procedure adopted in July 2011 it was agreed the following points should be added:

  • Councillors should be emailed the Case Ref Number as soon as an application is received. They can use this to access SCDC's website and view the plans. Should the plans not be available on line Clerk to contact SCDC.
  • Councillor to notify immediate neighbours by delivering details of the application and details of when the Parish Council will be discussing the application.
  • In addition details of the planning application will be sent out on googlemail/put on the Notice Board and put on the website (under new title Planning Applications) - all notices should have a link to SCDC's website where the full plans can be viewed.