powers does Winsham Parish Council have with respect to planning applications?
Winsham Parish Council is consulted by the
relevant Planning Authority (which is usually South Somerset District Council)
on all planning applications. Any views
expressed by the Parish Council will be taken into account by the Planning
Authority before a decision is made, providing the points made are relevant to
the determination of a planning application.
The final decision is made by the Planning
Authority, not the Parish
Winsham Parish Council will only comment on
what are known as “material considerations” – issues, for example, such as
boundary disputes between neighbours or loss of views will not be considered.
councils grant planning permission?
Town and parish councils are not
Planning Authorities. Town and parish
councils are only statutory consultees in the planning process.
This means that they only have the
right to be informed of planning applications within the parish.
They cannot approve or reject planning
They can only comment on planning
applications in the same way that individuals can comment.
Consequently the length of time taken
to determine a planning application is governed by the local planning authority
not the parish council.
A parish council can request that it
be given extra time to comment on an application.
The decision whether this is granted
rests solely with the planning authority and it’s own deadlines for decision
parish councils comment on planning applications?
Parish councils can only agree to comment
on planning applications in properly called council or committee meetings which
the public can attend.
The comments agreed in the council
meeting are submitted in writing by the parish clerk to the relevant planning
The process is exactly the same as
that of an individual wishing to comment on a planning application.
Parish councils are statutory
consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they
can only comment or not on applications.
reasons for comment on a Planning Application
Comments that are clear, concise and accurate
stand more chance of being accepted than those that are not. When planning
applications are considered, the following matters can all be relevant. These
are sometimes referred to as ‘material planning considerations’:
Central government policy and guidance
- Acts, Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) etc.
The Development Plan - and any review
of the Development Plan which is underway.
Adopted supplementary guidance - for
example, village design statements, conservation area appraisals, car parking
Replies from statutory and
non-statutory agencies (e.g. Environment Agency, Highways Authority).
Representations from others -
neighbours, amenity groups and other interested parties so long as they relate
to land use matters.
Effects on an area - this includes the
character of an area, availability of infrastructure, density,
over-development, layout, position, design and external appearance of buildings
The need to safeguard valuable
resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves.
Highway safety issues - such as
traffic generation, road capacity, means of access, visibility, car parking and
effects on pedestrians and cyclists.
Public services - such as drainage and
Public proposals for using the same
Effects on individual buildings - such
as overlooking, loss of light, overshadowing, visual intrusion, noise, disturbance
Effects on a specially designated area
or building - such as green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings, ancient
monuments and areas of special scientific interest.
Effects on existing tree cover and
Nature conservation interests - such
as protection of badgers, great crested newts etc.
Public rights of way
Flooding or pollution.
Planning history of the site -
including existing permissions and appeal decisions.
A desire to retain or promote certain
uses - such as playing fields, village shops and pubs.
Need for the development - such as a
Prevention of crime and disorder
Presence of a hazardous substance
directly associated with a development
Human Rights Act
Precedent - but only where it can be
shown there would be a real danger that a proposal would inevitably lead to
other inappropriate development (for example, isolated housing in the
reasons for objection
There are certain matters which do not amount
to ‘material planning considerations’ under current legislation and guidance.
These matters cannot be taken into account in considering a planning
application and should not be included in objections as they weaken your
Speculation over future use
The identity of the applicant or
Breach of covenants and personal
property rights, including personal (not Public) rights of way
Loss of a private view
Devaluation of property
Other financial matters
Matters controlled by other
legislation - such as internal space standards for dwellings or fire prevention
Religious or moral issues - such as
betting shops and amusement arcades
The fact that the applicant does not
own the land to which the application relates
The fact that an objector is a tenant
of land where the development is proposed
The fact that the development has
already been carried out and the applicant is seeking to regularise the
situation. People can carry out
development at their own risk before getting planning permission)
The developer’s motives, record or
– “concerns and issues”
The person making a planning application has
to provide enough information for the application to be determined. They do not
have to provide every single detail before an application can be approved
because certain matters can be resolved by way of conditions included as part
of the permission.
Because of this, certain issues may not be
considered as ‘objections’ but it is entirely reasonable for you to raise
concerns on such issues and to ask to be kept informed before they are
approved. These include: