The planning application process
A decision is taken on the application by the appropriate body. (Where the decision lies with a committee, there may be a site inspection by the Committee). In reaching a decision, the Committee is required by law to limit the matters it takes into account to the "Development Plan," i.e. the Local Plan policies relating to the application and to other planning matters, often referred to as "material considerations." What does and does not qualify as a "planning matter" varies between applications, but can generally be summarised as the impact of the development proposed on the surrounding environment and infrastructure. Matters which should not be taken into account include who is applying, their past history and the effect on the value of neighbours property.