Consideration of planning applications at Planning Committee by dfgh4bnmu


									Consideration of
planning applications
at Planning
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
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.
 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        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
   •   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
                                                      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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