The planning application process
7) Deciding planning applications
This page explains how decisions on planning applications are made until the Council has a new Local Plan.
In 2012 the Government issued policy requiring that decisions should follow the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) until such time there is an up to date local plan. The key part of this policy explains that permission should be granted for what it calls 'sustainable development' and that permission should be granted where advantages of proposals outweigh disadvantages.
What is Sustainable Development
The NPPF defines sustainable development as ensuring positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment that and explains there are 3 main strands:
- Economic: contributing to a strong economy by providing the right land and infrastructure to assist economic growth
- Social: providing the housing that the area needs in locations accessible to service and a quality built environment
- Environmental: protecting or enhancing our built, natural and historic environment; using resources prudently and assisting with reducing carbon emissions.
The following are examples of the issues that will be used to help decide applications:
- Housing: whether a proposal will contribute positively to the Borough's housing needs - not just overall demand, the type and mix as well, including affordable housing
- Services: whether the location of a proposal will allow existing services to be easily used
- Economy: how many jobs and how much investment a proposal will create; training and skills opportunities for local people
- Infrastructure: how a proposal will impact on infrastructure such as schools and roads; whether the infrastructure can support it and whether a proposal will help with provision or with capacity.
- Ecology: how a development will affect wildlife and biodiversity, especially protected and endangered species. The impact on protected sites such as Sites of Special Scientific interest (SSSI's)
- Landscape: how a development affects the landscape, especially designated landscapes such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and green Belts, or landscape features that have be recognised as important to our area.
- Historic Environment: the effect on listed buildings, conservations areas etc.
- Low Carbon: whether a proposal assists in reducing carbon emissions or producing renewable energy; whether development will be dependent on the car and the length of journeys.
- Quality of built environment: design and layout issues, including access to open space and play facilities as well as architecture, impact on neighbours etc.
- Others : Please note that this list is not comprehensive and other issues can arise from a specific location or application