HOW WE HANDLE PLANNING APPLICATIONS With the passing of the Localism Act, significant changes are likely in the way that planning and development matters are dealt with, especially with regard to public consultation and involvement. At the moment we do not know exactly how this will impact upon the planning procedures at District Council level and the involvement of Parish Councils in the planning application process. While we await developments, we shall continue to pursue the following procedure: 1. Obtain advance information on applications received by the Forest of Dean District Planning Department for properties in the parish of Longhope from the Department’s website; 2. Printed documentation for each application received by the Parish Clerk, booked into a planning register and passed to the Council’s Planning Committee. The Council then has two weeks in which to submit a response; 3. Notice of applications received and forthcoming committee meetings to consider them posted on the Parish Council’s notice boards. In the case of high-impact or contentious applications, these are referred to the full Council, where a decision is made whether or not to convene a special public meeting. If a special meeting is not to be called, the full Council will agree upon a response to the application; if a special meeting is called, the views of those present will be taken and then the full Council will agree upon its response; 4. Parish Clerk records the Council’s response in the planning register, passes it on to the District Council’s Planning Department and puts the document set into storage; 5. In cases where the Planning Department consider wider consultation on an application to be appropriate, it will be referred to the District Council’s Development Control Committee. This committee is made up of District Councillors and attended by Planning Officers and will hear submissions from Parish Councillors and members of the public who make applications to speak. Consideration of applications referred to Development Control is also likely to involve a site visit, to which Parish Council representatives are welcome; 6. The results of all planning applications are made known via the District Council’s website.
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