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Planning – The best way to get your views across

One of the important roles of the parish council is to comment on planning applications. Our view is just one of those taken into account by Cotswold District Council when the application is considered and anyone can comment on a proposal. The system is sometimes very confusing and so the parish council has put together this guide to help you get your views across.

Most planning applications are dealt with by planning officers and only go before the councillors on the planning committee if the ward councillor requests it. If you are commenting to an application it makes sense to copy the ward councillor, Jenny Forde, in on any views you send to CDC so that she is aware of the issues and you can ask her to refer the application to the committee where you may have the right to speak.

The planners work under strict guidelines and have to judge applications based on certain criteria.

It can often be confusing when commenting on applications to know exactly which matters will be taken into account by the planning officers and which will not, so below is a list of the relevant (material) and irrelevant (non-material considerations) to try to help make sure that your comments have the maximum impact.

Material Planning Considerations – these are matters which planners haveto take into account so your objections should be based on them.

  • Local and National planning policies
  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Loss of daylight/sunlight or overshadowing
  • Scale and dominance
  • Layout and density of buildings
  • Appearance and design of development and materials proposed
  • Disabled persons’ access
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic and parking issues
  • Drainage and flood risk
  • Noise, dust, fumes, pollution etc
  • Impact on character or appearance of area
  • Effect on listed buildings and conservation areas
  • Effect on trees and wildlife/nature conservation
  • Impact on the community and other services
  • Economic impact and sustainability – is proposal viable?
  • Planning history/previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Government Policy

Non-material Planning Considerations – these are the matters which are not relevant to planners.

  • Who the applicant is/the applicant’s background
  • Loss of views
  • Loss of property value for adjoining property
  • Loss of trade or increased competition for existing businesses
  • Strength or volume of local opposition
  • Construction noise, disturbance, problems during development
  • Fears of damage to property
  • Maintenance of property
  • Boundary disputes, covenants or other property rights
  • Rights of way
  • Personal circumstances are generally not a material planning consideration
  • Financial gain for developer
  • Moral objections
  • Retrospective application (ie: an application for work which has already been carried out)
  • Track-record of applicant/developer
  • Amendment to previous scheme