The Development Control Section is responsible for assessing proposals for the development and use of land and buildings to ensure that the amenities of the district's residents are protected and that new development is of high design quality.
Planning proposals are judged against the Council's adopted policies, taking into account national planning policy. The Council has also produced a series of Supplementary Planning Documents that provide more detailed advice on design and development.
The first recommended stage in the application process is to contact a planning officer for informal advice and guidance on your proposal. Once it is clear that planning consent is required, you may then wish to proceed to a formal application. For applications to alter or extend your home, and many other small scale proposals, a decision will be reached in less than 8 weeks. More information about the arrangements for processing applications can be found in the 'Planning Applications - Flowchart of Process' link in 'Documents' tab. The majority of planning consents are issued with a standard condition requiring the development to be commenced within three years of the date of the decision notice - you should bear this point in mind when submitting your application for determination.
Development Team Approach
Major housing and employment schemes, for example, pre-application discussions will be more detailed and complex. For such proposals we will follow a development team approach and seek to involve all the relevant professional officers in the discussions. In addition, developers may be advised to carry out some advance consultations on their proposals and seek input from elected Members and others.
The arrangements for dealing with the pre-application stage of such applications will vary from case to case, but will usually be discussed and agreed at the first development team meeting.
Viewing Planning Applications
You can view or comment on planning applications by using 'View Planning Applications' link in Related Content.
We have set out the arrangements for consultation on planning applications in our adopted Statement of Community Involvement. If you are a neighbour likely to be affected by a development proposal, you will be consulted for your views. Full details of the arrangements for consultation can be found in sections 7 and 8 of the Statement of Community Involvement, which can be found in the 'Documents' tab.
Making an Application
The preferred method for submitting a planning application is online through the Planning Portal. You will need to register your details, but the procedure is simple and straightforward and, if plans are submitted electronically as well as the application, you will avoid the requirement to provide multiple paper copies. Full details can be found by clicking this 'Make an Application' link.
Validation of Applications
You must ensure that you provide all the necessary documentation with your planning application to enable it to be validated following submission to us. All applications must be accompanied by documents and plans specified nationally by the government. In addition, we have specified a number of local documents that might be required to support your application. The national and local requirements are set out in our publication 'Validation of Planning Applications' - see 'Documents' tab. You will also find a validation checklist linked to each different type of planning application form when you click on 'Make an Application' - see 'Pages' tab.
Material Planning Considerations
There are various issues to be taken into consideration when determining a planning application, these matters vary depending on the type and scale of application under consideration. The weight to be attached to material considerations is a matter of judgement. Communities and Local Government have produced a helpful guide identifying issues which are considered to represent material considerations and those considered to be non-material. This is not an exhaustive list but does represent a useful guide. This guide can be found within the ‘Documents’ tab.
You will find much advice on the website about the planning process. The 'Questions and Answers' link in 'Links' tab seeks to address the majority of issues and concerns raised by applicants. If you cannot find the answer to your question please call or email the planning department and we will provide an answer to your question as quickly as possible.
Tel: 01702 318 191
Email: using this form
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It is important to bear in mind that your scheme might require approval under the provisions of the Building Regulations, even if planning permission is not required.