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Planning and Development 19 th May 2011. Philippa Lowe Head of Development Services. The Planning System. The Planning System. The Planning System. Decision Making Framework: managing competing uses for space Origins – 1947 Planning Act Actively engage with Communities…..

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planning and development 19 th may 2011

Planning and Development19th May 2011

Philippa Lowe

Head of Development Services

the planning system2
The Planning System
  • Decision Making Framework:
    • managing competing uses for space
    • Origins – 1947 Planning Act
  • Actively engage with Communities…..
  • Balancing different needs:
    • Economic
    • Social
    • Environmental
  • Good planning ensures:
    • Right Development
    • Right place
    • Right time
key focus for planning
Key Focus for Planning
  • Responding to rapidly changing political environment:
    • Local Government Priorities
    • Localism Bill – Community Engagement
    • Changes in Legislation – see handout
  • Climate Change & Sustainable Development
  • 5-Year Housing Land Supply
  • Locally set Application Fees
what is planning policy
  • Future growth and development proposals
  • Local Land Use policies
  • Framework for making decisions
  • Allow acceptable development
  • Planning for Growth (Budget 2011)
development plan
  • Cotswold District Local Plan
  • Gloucestershire Structure Plan
  • RPG10
  • Minerals and Waste Local Plans
  • ‘Saved’ policies
  • LDF Core Strategy
planning policy principles
  • Different types of policies:
    • ‘Strategic’
    • General guidance
    • Permissive/ proactive proposals
    • Restrictive/ protective
  • Consider all relevant policies
  • Flexible, not prescriptive, but…
  • Material consideration in planning decisions
    • Section 38(6) Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
    • Exceptions and departures from policy
cotswold local plan 1 strategic context
COTSWOLD LOCAL PLAN (1) Strategic Context

The Cotswold Environment

  • Managing resources
  • Protecting our natural environment
  • Protecting our heritage
cotswold local plan 2 housing economic social needs
COTSWOLD LOCAL PLAN (2)Housing, economic & social needs
  • Development Strategy
  • Housing
  • Economy
  • Social and Leisure
cotswold local plan 3
  • Infrastructure
  • Raising Standards, ensuring quality
  • Site-specific policies and proposals
  • Proposals Maps
why are policies important
  • Accordance with national policy
  • Local accountability
  • Consistent decision-making
  • Probity
  • Avoiding unwelcome precedent
  • Appeals against refusal
  • Reviewing policy
five year housing land supply
  • PPS3 – LPA’s must maintain 5 year supply of housing land
  • Sites identified in Local Plan to 2011
  • PPS3 (para. 71) “Where LPA’s cannot demonstrate an up-to-date five year supply…they should consider favourably planning applications for housing…”
  • …subject to other considerations
  • A shortfall can transcend local policy
  • Currently, we have a shortfall
  • Dynamic situation – always check with case officer
  • Strategy being devised to combat current/ future shortfall
role of development services
Role of Development Services
  • Our Stated Purpose:

“Working together to meet the development needs of our customers whilst protecting and enhancing the built and natural environment of the Cotswolds”

What we do……………..

development management kevin field

Development Management – Kevin Field

Cases last year:

1675 applications last year;

1933 enquiries pre-app’ enquires;

49 Appeals;

586 Enforcement Complaints;

1585 Land Charge Searches - responsesCurrently:

300 Applications;

25 Major applications awaiting determination, Including Highfield Farm, Tetbury (250 units), North Home Road, Cirencester(103 units) and Siddington Road, Cirencester(60 units);

197 Open Enforcement complaints;

10 Appeals.


Customer Satisfaction ratings of 86+%;

Fee income + £600K pa.

Heritage and Design - Sophia Price





  • 40+ SSSI’s
  • 6,000+ listed buildings
  • 144 Conservation Areas
  • 290 Key Wildlife Sites
  • 70% Cotswold Water Park
  • 75% areas - AONB
  • 42 Regionally Important Geological Sites
  • 31 Reg’d Parks and Gardens
Heritage and Design Cases





  • 500 – 600 tree applications per year
  • 460+ Tree Preservation Orders
  • Management of 70+ sites with trees owned by CDC
  • 500 – 600 Listed Building Consent applications per year (no fee)
  • ~1,000 consultations from Development Management per year
building control john hill
Westington Hill Farm Chipping Campden

Building Control – John Hill

Role –

Plan Checking - building projects

Inspecting building work - compliance

Dangerous Structures

Public - building related enquires

Achievements -

Customer Satisfaction ratings of 90+%

Fee income generation of around £425K pa

Market share of Building Control work 80+%

LABC Regional Building Excellence

Award 2010 Winner

Formal definition - Section 55 of Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Building, Engineering, Mining or Other Operation. Development - Could be a change of use.

Some development will not require permission.

Permitted by General Permitted Development Management Order or Use Classes Order.


applications types
Applications Types
  • Most common application seeks planning permission – 70% of these related to householder development
  • Full planning permission – buildings, engineering operations, changes of use. .
  • Non-compliance or changes to conditions
  • Outline planning permission – erection of buildings
  • Followed by submission of ‘Reserved Matters’
planning applications
Planning Applications
  • Determine in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
  • Development Plan
  • Regional Planning Guidance Note 10
  • Gloucestershire Structure Plan – Second Review
  • Cotswold District Local Plan
other application types and tests
Other Application Types and Tests
  • Listed Building Consent - the desirability of preserving the building its setting or any architectural or historical features that it possesses.
  • Conservation Area Consent - Controls demolition on structures that are not listed. There are numerous exemptions to this control.
  • Advertisement Consent - Not just signs containing words. Many advertisements do not require consent. Consideration restricted to visual amenity and highway safety.
other application types and tests1
Other Application Types and Tests
  • CLEUDS (Certificates of Lawful Existing Use) – 4 and 10 year test
  • CLOPUDS ( Certificate of Proposed Use or Development)
  • A formal decision based on the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Management) Order 1995
  • Agricultural Notification - 28 days to seek further details in respect of design and siting – if requested treated as an application
other application types and tests2
Other Application Types and Tests
  • Tree Preservation Orders – does the tree have public amenity value?
  • Section 211 Notifications - to carry out works to trees in a conservation area – allows 6 weeks to make a Preservation Order
  • Telecommunication Development – Not all require an application – 56 day notification – siting and appearance
  • No response – deemed approved

Development Management is:

“End-to-end management of the delivery chain for sustainable development”


Pre – app discussions#

Appraise & Engage#

  • Right development; Right Place; Right time.

Planning application#

‘Delivery Chain’


Customer Focus:

  • Pro-active
  • Positive
  • Partnership
  • Proportionate

Determine Application#

Appeal Process



community engagement
Community Engagement



  • Development without planning permission is not a criminal offence;
  • Complaints are investigated to see if there is any evidence of a breach of planning control;
  • There must be a reasoned justification of whether or not it is EXPEDIENT to take enforcement action, having regard to:
    • Development plan
    • All other material planning considerations.......…...
material considerations
Material Considerations….….
  • Who Decides?
    • No set definition in law but defined by the Courts
  • What are they?
    • Must relate to development of land and genuine planning matters
  • Precedent:
    • Must consider each case on its own individual merits and circumstances
material considerations examples
Material Considerations: Examples
  • Policy:
    • National
    • Local
  • Duties under Acts:
    • Listed Building and Conservation Area Act
    • Environmental Act
    • Climate Change Act etc,
  • Views of Consultees:
    • Statutory Consultees
    • Technical Consultees
    • Public Notification
  • Factors on the Ground: ………………..



Sustainable development

Impact on neighbouring land/properties

Amenity: daylight, sunlight, privacy

Ecology, Landscape

Noise, Smell, Pollution


Conservation/listed building impact

Affordable housing

Crime (and fear of)

Health/Health and Safety

Economic & social benefits

Cumulative impact

Planning history/related decisions

Personal circumstances (rarely)

Viability – economics of provision

Environmental impacts

Impact/reduction in property values


Land Ownership/right of access

Boundary disputes

Work already done

Personal views about the applicant

Moral objections

Objection based on discrimination grounds

Loss of private view

Retrospective application

Breach of restrictive covenants

The Applicant/ History of applicant

Change from previous scheme

Matters covered by other legislation e.g. Building Regulations, Environmental Health

Level of Local support/opposition

Commercial competition


Non- Material:

role of councillors 1
Role of Councillors 1.
  • As a Ward Councillor….

-…….you can support or oppose an application and represent the views of your constituents

  • As a Planning Committee Member……

-……..doing so will compromised your (impartial) role on the committee

There is therefore an important difference between those Cllrs involved in making a decision and those seeking to influence it.

……..If in doubt get advice from legal: Predisposition, Predetermination, Bias and Code of Conduct.

role of councillors 2
Role of Councillors 2.
  • Inform officers about any approaches made to you and seek advice
  • Always involve officers and structure discussions with developers
1 consultations publicity
  • 5065 Consultations – 2497 responses.
  • 5838 Neighbours consulted – 2624  responses.
  • By means of Website, Site Notice, Neighbour Notification Letter, Advertisement in Local Paper – depends on site and application details.
  • Councillors notified by email alert – weekly list issued on Sunday.
  • Anyone can subscribe to email alerts for applications and decisions
  • Few consultations in paper format. Over 90% of consultations with Parish Councils by email alert.
  • If decision contrary to Parish Council view written explanation provided
scheme of delegation
Scheme of Delegation
  • Majority of applications are potentially delegated
  • Not applications for the Council, staff or Councillors
  • Any Member, not just the relevant Ward Member can request an application be determined at Planning Committee – Good planning reason required
  • Refusals will need Ward Member agreement – email from Case Officer
  • Permission when objections received also require Ward Member agreement
2 planning committee
2.Planning Committee

Chair – Cllr Venetia Crosbie Dawson

Portfolio Holder – Cllr Sue Jepson

Lead Officer: Kevin Field

Legal Officer: Bhavna Patel

Committee Clerk: Derek Chiplin

Team Leader – Development Management

Case Officer/ Specialist Officers e.g. Conservation Officers as required

3 planning committee
3.Planning Committee
  • Meetings on 2nd Wednesday of Month – 4/5 week cycle
  • Agenda/Schedule issued 5 working days in advance of the meeting
  • New style schedule being introduced from July 2011 – Please give feedback
  • Additional pages forwarded by post or email on the Friday preceding the meeting
  • Further updates provided on the morning of the meeting – need to arrive 30 minutes before start
4 planning committee
4.Planning Committee
  • Important to work in partnership with officers
  • We may not always agree – that’s fine
  • Discuss issues/questions with officers in advance
  • Officers will provide updates and are likely to use a PowerPoint presentation including photographs
  • The Chair will invite public speakers to give a 3 minute presentation – details of public speaking are on the website.
  • Members will be asked for comments and then questions
5 planning committee
5.Planning Committee
  • Ward Members will be invited to make comments but can’t vote
  • You cannot vote if you have not been present throughout the debate
  • Do not give the impression that you have prejudged the application
  • Ensure comments remain objective
  • Do not engage in conversation with any interested 3rd party
  • Ask officers for advice if it is possible that you could make a proposal contrary to the recommendation
making the decision

Making the Decision

Philippa Lowe

making the decision1

Material Planning Considerations



Think about:

-why is the proposal acceptable?

-is there any harm?

-is any harm outweighed by the benefits?

Think about:

-what is it about the proposal/specific part of the proposal that causes harm?

-what is the precise nature of the unacceptable impact?

-what is the policy basis?

Technical Consultee responses

All other views – if material

Look at individual merits/ context

Come to a view in light of officer assessment and recommendation

approvals and conditions
Approvals - must be:


Reference to relevant development plan policies should be included;

Conditions, with reasons must pass tests of Circular 11/95

Justification should be clearly minuted if different from officer report/recommendation*;

Conditions Circular 11/95 Tests:


Relevant to planning

Relevant to the development



Reasonable in all other respects

Appeals can be made in respect of any condition – costs awarded if not reasonable.

Approvals and Conditions

Refusals - must be:

  • Justified by reasons, based on Development Plan policies and any other material considerations;
  • Defendable and based on credible evidence – as may be subject to appeal;
  • Reasonable and valid – or may result in award of costs…and
  • You only need one good reason.
cautionary notes
Cautionary notes

Particular care is needed if intend to over-rule technical advice such as Highways, Environment Agency (if in doubt DON’T!)

Use a common - sense approach –

What is commonly acceptable within residential areas such as degree of overlooking, proximity of dwellings etc?

Relying on local knowledge is acceptable only if based on a firm evidential base – take particular care where there are technical issues (eg highways)

There must be a clear AUDIT TRAIL for the decision

contrary decisions at committee
Contrary Decisions at Committee

There will be cases when Members consider making a Contrary Decision to the Officer’s recommendation

Members may wish to place more or less weight on some material considerations and the “balancing exercise” means a different outcome

It is an inevitable part of Committee decision-making and in many cases is reasonable and defensible

BUT It is important to take care in order to MINIMISE THE RISKS

partnership and engagement
  • Support members – information/guidance (offer drop in/training)
  • Meetings with Portfolio Holder and Chair Planning Committee
  • Facilitate community engagement (South Cerney, Fairford)
  • Engage with service users:
    • Agents Forum
    • Peer Review
  • Training for Parish/Town Councils (event 30th June)
training support programme
  • What next?
  • Feedback on what is in place