Consideration of planning applications at Planning Committee This leaflet has been prepared to help members of the public understand the way the Planning Committee operates and how they can take part in the proceedings. Updated May 2011 The Committee 2 Officers will present details of the proposal and The Planning Committee is made up of locally site/location. elected Councillors. It meets at the Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan. The committee room is Time limit accessible for disabled people. There is level 3 One person will be allowed to speak against the access off Hewlett Street and an induction loop is application for up to 4 minutes and one person to installed to help those people with hearing speak in favour for up to 4 minutes. Speakers will difficulties. not be allowed to hand out any material to Committee. You will find a map on the back of this leaflet. Members of the Planning Committee will not The agenda normally ask objectors or supporters questions. The Committee has an agenda which includes reports on individual planning applications. These 4 The Chairman will ask a representative of any reports have been prepared by the council’s objectors to present a statement explaining why officers who make recommendations to the they think the application should be refused. Committee. The Committee then makes the final decision on applications. 5 The Chairman will ask the applicant or their representative or supporter to present a statement A selection of written representations made either explaining why they think the application should be in support or against a planning application will be approved. attached to the Committee Report. This will either be on the main agenda, on the supplementary 6 The Chairman will ask the appropriate officer(s) to agenda, or included with papers circulated on the report on the application. This will include day of the Committee. commenting on any factual points raised by the objector or applicant, which are considered to be The officers incorrect or need further explanation. Officers from Places Directorate and Resources Directorate attend the meeting to help and advise 7 The Chairman will give Members of the Committee the Committee. Other specialist officers may an opportunity to ask the officer(s) questions. attend from time to time to deal with specific applications. 8 The Chairman will announce the opening of the debate on the application. Order of business The order of business does not always follow the 9 After the debate, the Chairman will take the vote numerical order as it appears on the agenda. on the application. If an application is deferred for a Items for which members of the public are present site visit this will normally be carried out are usually dealt with first. It is extremely immediately before the next meeting of the important therefore that when you arrive at the Committee. Applicants and objectors/supporters committee room in the Town Hall you tell the will be given the details. Committee Clerk at the desk which item you are interested in. You will need to say whether you Public speaking are attending as an applicant, a supporter, or an 8 How should you prepare your statement? objector to an application. All speakers will be asked to provide their name and address. There Tell us why you think this planning application should will be a limited number of agendas available at be approved or refused. the Committee for members of the public. Before arriving at the Committee meeting you should Procedure prepare a clear, concise statement explaining why The running order for each application will be as you think the planning application you are interested follows: in should be approved or refused. 1 The Chairman will read out the application number, location and proposed development. He will identify appropriate pages on the agenda and draw attention to any additional information on the supplementary agenda or as tabled. • Potential profit for the applicant or from the When preparing your statement, you should application try to explain: • Private rights to light • Private rights to way • how the proposals comply or conflict with • Damage to property planning policies in the Unitary Development • Disruption during any construction phase Plan and relevant planning guidance issued • Loss of trade and competitors by the council; • Age, health, status, background and work • whether the proposals will have any affect on patterns of the objector neighbouring property and if so what that will • Time taken to do the work be; • Capacity of private drains • what the main advantages or disadvantages • Building and structural techniques will be for you and the wider community; and • Alcohol or gaming licences • what evidence you have for your statements. This table does not show everything, it is meant as a What matters will the Committee take into guide to help you when preparing your statement. account? The Planning Committee considers all Conduct applications on planning grounds only. Our From time to time debates on planning applications Unitary Development Plan is an important will be lively as they raise issues that Members will consideration. Listed below are examples of feel very strongly about. It is the role of the Chairman issues that the Committee can and cannot to maintain order and discipline. Members of the consider. public can watch proceedings but cannot address the meeting apart from by the procedure described It is best to look at these lists before you speak. above. And at other times should keep as quiet as If you raise issues from the list they cannot look possible. If a member of the public interrupts the at, then the Committee will not be able to take proceedings or is otherwise disruptive then he or she them into account. can be asked by the Chairman to leave the room. Issues the Committee can normally consider: After hearing the Committee’s decision on the application(s) that they are interested in, they are • Overshadowing welcome to stay and listen to the discussion on other • Overlooking and loss of privacy applications. • Adequate parking and servicing • Overbearing nature of proposal Decisions • Loss of trees We will not notify you of the decision, but once it has • Loss of ecological habitats been made you will be able to view and download • Design and appearance the decision from our web site • Layout and density of buildings http://kinnear.wigan.gov.uk/planapps/. If you do not • Effect on listed building(s) and have access to our web site and wish to receive a conservation areas hard copy of the decision, you can write to the case • Access and highways safety officer asking for one, quoting the planning • Traffic generation application reference number, • Noise and disturbance from the scheme • Disturbance from smells Appeals • Public visual amenity (not loss of private The Committee’s decision can be challenged by the individual’s view) applicants on appeal to the office of Communities • Flood risk and Local Government if their application is refused, or if conditions are imposed which they do not agree Issues the Committee cannot normally consider: with. When this happens, anyone who has written about the original application or who has spoken • Loss of value to individual property about the application at the Committee will be • Loss of view informed. Third parties, for example objectors, • Boundary disputes including cannot appeal to the Secretary of State against a encroachment of foundations or gutters decision to grant permission. • Private covenants or agreements • The applicant’s personal conduct or history • The applicant’s motives If you have any queries about this procedure or other aspects of the planning service, please address them to: Places Directorate, Civic Buildings, New Market Street, Wigan, WN1 1RP Telephone number: Fax number: 01942 488234 01942 404222 Out of hours answerphone: 01942 404301 www.wigan.gov.uk Views of local residents must also be considered but How the Planning Committee decide planning local opposition or support on its own is not a reason applications for refusing or granting planning permission. Opposition or support must be backed up by valid The key purpose of Planning planning reasons. This is to control development in the public interest. The Planning Committee must take The government regularly issues Statements of decisions on behalf of the whole community. Planning Policy and these are known as Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG's). These are also Decision making material planning considerations and the Planning Members of the Planning Committee must make Committee must take them into account when decisions openly, fairly, with sound judgement reaching planning decisions. and for justifiable planning reasons. In addition to the PPG's, government policies and Members of the Planning Committee cannot act advice are also provided in circulars, technical as Ward Members but rather act as documents and ministerial statements. The Planning representatives of the whole Borough. So, if you Committee must also consider these. need the help of a local Councillor regarding a planning application then you should speak to Many planning applications become the subject of another Ward Councillor who is not on the court proceedings. The Planning Committee must take Planning Committee. the courts decisions into account as they are also material planning considerations. Members of the Planning Committee are not Expert advice allowed to make up their minds about a particular Members of the Planning Committee regularly receive application before the application is considered at advice from experts, for example planning officers, a meeting of the Planning Committee. Because of traffic experts, lawyers, environmental health officers this, they will and those experts in ecology, archaeology and not be able to support your views on any drainage. The Planning Committee does not have to particular application before that meeting. Each accept the advice of these experts. But if it does not Member must come to the Committee meeting do so it must show strong planning grounds for with an open mind and listen to all the making its decision and have evidence to support that submissions before deciding how to vote on the decision if it was challenged either on appeal or matter. If a Member of the Planning Committee through the courts. has made their mind up beforehand they cannot take part in the decision making process at the Appeals and challenges Committee. When making its decisions the Planning Committee must act reasonably at all times and be able to The Development Plan support any decisions it makes if those decisions are The Development Plan for this area is the Wigan challenged. If the Planning Committee refuses an Unitary Development Plan and in most cases it is application for planning permission the applicant can the first consideration when a planning application appeal against that decision to the Planning is being considered. The plan was adopted in Inspectorate. If in making its decision the Planning January 1996. It is currently being reviewed. The Committee is found to have acted unreasonably then council has published a Revised Deposit Draft substantial costs can be awarded against the council. Replacement Plan in February 2004. Reports to Committee will refer to both the adopted and the In some circumstances the decisions of the Planning Draft Replacement Plan. Committee are also open to challenge in the High Court. The procedures by which decisions are Material planning considerations reached, but not the decisions themselves, can be In addition to the Development Plan, the Planning subject to investigation by the Local Government Committee must also consider what are known as Ombudsman. material planning considerations. Examples of these are the number, size, and layout of a development, siting, design, external appearance, access, infrastructure, landscaping and impact on the neighbourhood.
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