Once the technical administration officer is satisfied that all the necessary information has been submitted, the application will be registered as valid and allocated to a planning officer.
Who deals with your application?
If you have sought pre-application advice, the planning officer that you have been dealing with during this period will most likely be the same person that deals with your planning application. This benefits you because you will have already spoken with the officer, and benefits us because we will already know a lot of information about your proposal and have considered any planning issues in advance.
At this stage the 8 or 13 week formal period has now begun. Planning authorities have a target of determining minor planning applications within 8 weeks and major (large scale developments such as supermarkets or new housing sites) within 13 weeks.
Although informal consultation may have taken place during the pre-development advice stage the statutory consultation period will now begin as follows:
all properties adjacent to the application site will be written to by the us giving 21 days to make any comments on the application and/or
a site notice will be displayed within a public place by the application site for at least 21 days giving any interested person the opportunity to comment on the application.
depending on the location, constraints or nature of the proposal an advertisement, when required, will also be put in a local newspaper giving any interested party either 14 or 21 days to comment.
All comments received will form part of the planning file. They are available for public inspection and will be considered during the formal assessment of the application.
Comments must be received in writing (email, letter or fax). If anyone wishing to put forward a formal comment has problems with written methods they are required to contact us to discuss other suitable recording methods.
Dealing with concerns or objections
Normally, applications that have been through pre-application advice do not get held up when a full application is submitted. This is because most of the issues have been identified and addressed before you apply. Where there are problems at the full application stage, it is often because this advice has not been asked for and therefore any likely concerns or problems have not been identified.
However, it is not unheard of for unexpected issues to arise during the formal process or for people to raise a concern that they had not mentioned previously. If problems do arise during the formal planning stage, the planning officer will call the applicant or agent to discuss it. If there is time within the 8 week period for amended plans to be submitted to overcome the issues then the officer will advise you.
Please be aware that if amended plans are required then they may need to go out for re-consultation. This can add an additional 21 days to the process depending on the nature of the amendment.
If it is considered by us that there is not the opportunity to deal with amendments in a reasonable time the applicant/agent will be advised of this. The option is then to withdraw the application and resubmit it later once changes have been made and discussed further.
The Formal Assessment and Decision Making
Once the consultation period comes to an end, the planning officer can write up the formal assessment. This is called the ‘Officer Delegation Report’. The report will describe the proposal, discuss any comments received and how they have been considered or dealt with and discuss how the scheme does or does not comply with the relevant planning policies. Applications are considered against national, regional and local policies.
If no objections have been received, the Report will need to be agreed with the Principal Planning Officer or Development Manager then the Decision Notice will be issued (around 95% of application are dealt with in this way).
If objections have been received but the Officer does not agree with the issues raised or can not justify the refusal of the application in relation to planning policy the report will go to the Local Ward Members and the Chairman of the Planning Committee for further consideration.
If members agree with the planning officers conclusion the Decision Notice will be issued.
If members disagree or have concerns relating to the objections raised then it may be passed to the Planning Committee to decide.
During a Planning Committee meeting there will be an opportunity for the applicant/agent to put forward a case to support the application (total 5 minutes), there will also be the opportunity for a case to be put forward against the proposal (total 5 minutes). Councillors will then take a vote as to whether or not the application should be granted, occasionally they may defer making a decision should they decide a Committee site visit would be beneficial before making a decision.
Find out what happens once a decision is made here.