What Is The Decision Making Process?
Once the Council has received your application, a number of processes must take place before you receive your decision. These processes are set out below.
Validation and Consultation
Once all the required information has been received your application will be validated and registered (the application is entered onto the planning database system and given a start date), consultations are sent out to all adjacent neighbours. In addition, it may also be necessary to place a site notice in the immediate vicinity. Advertisements may also be placed in the local newspapers.
Allocation and Site Visits
The application is then allocated to a case officer who will in most cases visit the site to help assess the proposed development in its surroundings. The case officer is likely to make notes and take photographs of the site. These will be kept on file as a record of what is on the site at the time of the visit. If it is likely that the officer would be unable to access your property (i.e. if you work during the day), please contact him/her using the telephone number given on your acknowledgement letter.
Negotiations and Amendments
Following the case officer’s site visit, they may contact you to request changes to the scheme to overcome potential problems. All Planning Authorities are judged by their performance in terms of deciding applications within 8 weeks or 13 weeks for major applications. For this reason, you may be asked to withdraw the application and resubmit a new application with the amended plans - there is no planning fee for a resubmission within 12 months of the original submission date.
After the consultation period expires, the application is primarily assessed against its compliance with the relevant planning policies. In addition, any other material considerations such as the history of the site and highway safety are considered.
There are three levels of decision making for planning applications in Bassetlaw. These are Delegated, Planning Consultation Group (Advisory Body) and Planning Committee:
If the proposal is considered to comply with policy and there are no letters of objection or committee requests from local councillors, the application can be GRANTED under the delegated powers of the Head of Community Prosperity.
Similarly, if the proposal is considered contrary to policy and there are no letters of support or requests for committee from local councillors, the application can be REFUSED under the delegated powers of the Head of Community Prosperity.
If the application does not fall within one of these two descriptions, it is usually referred to PCG.
Planning Consultation Group (PCG)
The PCG is an advisory body comprising the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Opposition Spokesman of the Planning Committee, plus one other member of the Planning Committee chosen on a rota basis. Also present is the Development Control Manager or one of the Principal Planners. PCG meetings are held each Monday afternoon. If the proposal is considered to comply with policy but there are letters of objection or committee requests from local councillors, the application must be sent to PCG with a recommendation to grant.
PCG discuss each application before they and members vote to either authorise the use of delegated powers or refer the application to the Planning Committee.
The Planning Committee is a public meeting scheduled for every four weeks on a Wednesday evening, alternatively at Worksop and Retford Town Halls.
In most instances, a decision is made on the night. However, in some circumstances the decision can be deferred until the next meeting should there be further information required or a change requested by members.
You may have the right to Appeal Against the Council’s Decision to refuse your application, to impose conditions or non determination within the 8 or 13 week deadline. You can make your appeal to The Planning Inspectorate.