Hoyle Copse

Planning applications and your parish council

It has come to the notice of the Parish Council that the planning process is not clear and how involved the Parish Council is.

First of all the Parish Council has under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the right to be notified of all planning applications relating to the Parish. A list of applications is sent to the Council each week and hard copies are sent when the application is validated.

Site notices are placed on or near to the application site advising interested parties what the application is requesting and details of how to either object to or support the application. There is a deadline to register comments which is normally 21 days after the application has been validated. Comments should be sent to South Hams District Council via their planning web site at www.southams.gov.uk but if you do not have this facility correspondence can be sent to Case management Team, Development Management, South Hams District Council, Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes, TQ9 5NE quoting the application reference number. You are encouraged to copy the Parish Council with your comments.

A planning sub committee meets before the main Parish Council meetings which are normally held on the last Monday of each month when planning applications are discussed and a recommendation is made. These are public meetings and if an interested party wishes to comment on a planning application they should advise Cllr Robinson of their intention and he will ensure that they will be able to make comments at the subcommittee meeting. Copy site notices are posted on the Parish Council notice board and an agenda for the meeting is also posted3 working days before the meeting. Whilst the Parish Council cannot make decisions it can make recommendations which are read out in the main Parish Council meeting where our District Councilors are normally in attendance and copies of the decisions are always sent to them after the meeting so they are made aware of any concerns the Parish Council may have. On some occasions a site meeting may be arranged before a recommendation is made when Councilors will visit the application site discuss the issue with either the applicant or their agent before any recommendation is passed to the full Parish Council.

It should be noted that if a Parish Councilor has an interest in any application be it personal or financial they declare this interest and do not take part in any discussion or decision making.

Most planning applications are decided within eight weeks, unless they are unusually large or complex, in which case the time limit is extended to 13 weeks. The Local Planning Authority normally gives an idea about the likely timetable. If it cannot decide the application within eight weeks, it should obtain written consent to extend the period. If it has not done so, an appeal can be lodged with the Secretary of State. But appeals can take several months to decide and it may be quicker to reach agreement with the LPA.

If the Local Planning Authority turns down an application or applies conditions which the applicant finds unacceptable, the applicant can make an appeal and have the matter resolved by a Planning Inspector. An appeal is also permitted on the grounds of 'non-determination' when the local planning authority fails to determine the application within the statutory period. Very occasionally the Secretary of State will take the decision.

If outline permission has been granted, you will need to submit a further application for approval of anything that was not covered by the outline application, known as "reserved matters", before starting work. This must be done within three years of the grant of outline permission.

As the center of the village is in a conservation area and much of the Parish is an AONB it may be necessary to get other approvals such as listed building consent or planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area before work is started.

Work carried out without planning permission can become a subject of an enforcement notice. Subsequent approval is not guaranteed and consequences can be extremely punitive. It is always best to consult South Hams Planning department for advice before beginning work.

The planning process is a very complex one and the above information only covers a small part of the process. If anyone requires any additional information or assistance they should contact Development Control at South Hams District Council or in some cases your Parish Council may be able to advise.

Stoke Gabriel Parish Council