The Parish Council is always consulted about applications in the parish but planning decisions are made by North Dorset District Council (NDDC). On review of a planning application the Parish Council has the following options:
- Fully support
- No objections
- No objections but with comments or recommendations
For each application, the Parish Clerk will respond formally to NDDC with the Parish Councils opinion which will be considered by the Planning Offices and District Council Planning Committee alongside those received from other sources such as the general public, neighbours or local businesses.
For minor applications (e.g minor extension of an existing property) it would be typical for the Parish Council to simply not object. For more significant applications it is likely that the Parish Council will want certain specific comments or concerns to be taken into account. When the Parish Council take the decision to either support or object to an application it is broadly doing so because it thinks that the impact on the village is significant and the case is worth making. The Parish Council comments should be made on valid planning grounds, known as material considerations (see below).
Most applications are decided by the NDDC Planning Officer, but significant applications are referred to the District Council Planning Committee. Usually this is triggered by an objection from the Parish Council or objections from 5 or more members of the public. At the Planning Committee meetings the applicant and the Parish Council get 3 minutes each to present their cases, and a further 3 minutes is allocated for all members of the public, who will arrange to split the time between themselves, or nominate one person as a spokesman.
It is the District Council that makes the decision to approve or reject an application, not the Parish Council.
If the decision goes against the applicant, they have the right of appeal, and the application will be decided by a Planning Inspector.
Planning applications are reviewed by the Parish Council at planning meetings help in Buckhorn Weston village hall or Kington Magna village hall and may be attended by the applicants and any member of the general public or press. You can find the agendas and minutes for planning applications on the “Planning Meetings” page and the is a register of planning applications and their outcomes on the “Planning Register” page.
Material Planning Considerations
Relevant planning issues include:
- Overshadowing and loss of light
- Noise disturbance, smells, obtrusive lighting or other impacts on amenity
- The planning history of a site
- National planning policies and guidance
- Regional planning policies and guidance
- Local planning policies and guidance
- Highway safety issues
- Traffic generation
- Car parking provision
- Design, including appearance, layout, scale, density and materials
- Local drainage issues
- Local flooding issues
- Loss of important open spaces
- Loss of important community facilities
- Impact on important trees
- Proposed landscaping
- Impact on the character or setting of a listed building
- Impact on the character or appearance of a conservation area
This list is not exhaustive but it gives an idea of the sort of comments that are relevant to the consideration of a planning application.
Examples of what are not material planning considerations include the following:
- Reduction in property values
- Loss of a private view over land
- Boundary and access disputes, covenants and other private property matters
- Questioning the applicant’s motives or morals
- That a planning application has been submitted retrospectively
- Commercial competition