This report outlines the process in which a planning application is analysed at the planning committee meeting. It discusses the role of different members present in the meeting in the planning application process. Different stages of planning application process have been studied, which include pre-application advice, application submission, role of validation team, role of development control officer and planning committee involvement. Different types of applications have been mentioned. The planning application selected for analysis has been described. The planning officer’s report contents have been briefly summarised. The stages in the process of planning application assessment have been explained in detail. Lastly, the planning application process has been critically analysed.
Background study of Planning Application Process
Planning takes places within the context of a system which is defined by Legislation, Regulations and Orders, Case Law, National policy and advice (NPPF), local plans (Neighbourhood plans), appeals and enforcement.
Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) evaluate planning applications. This will be either District/Borough/City/Unitary/County/London/Borough/Metropolitan/National Park.
The applicant has an option to get free “Pre-application advice”. The applicant can discuss the documents with the council in presence of planning officers and get advice on the list of required documents for application approval. This is an optional service and depends on the applicant’s desire to use it. Instead, the applicant can directly submit the application to Local authority.
The application is then passed on to the Validation team who is responsible for checking all the documents against the local list (where all the policies relating to the application are considered) in order to validate if relevant. The application is then forwarded to the Development manager or Development control Officer (DC).
DC stage has two options.
- It is delegated by the officer. In this case, if the planning application is straightforward, the consent is given by the DC officer alone.
- Sometimes, there is a need for the planning committee to intervene and decide if the application is to be approved or refused. The DC officer sends his comments to the committee regarding his thoughts and analysis of the application.
Role of Planning Committee
Major and contentious applications are dealt with by Planning Committees. They also inspect the sites before coming to a conclusion. The Planning Committee includes Councillors from all political parties and areas of the City. Officers of the Council also attend to answer questions about the reports.