We are continuously reviewing and seeking to improve service delivery and aims to modernise the way that it handles the decision making process on planning applications. In particular, wishing to increase public representation in the open and democratic process by which planning applications are determined, it has been agreed that parish councils (term to include town councils) be invited to attend Planning meetings and to speak on applications of interest to them. This protocol is drawn up in pursuance of the Parish Charter which seeks partnership and closer working relations at all levels of local government.
Article 13 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 requires that “where the Council of a Parish or Community are given information in relation to an application … they shall, as soon as practicable, notify the Local Planning Authority determining the application whether they propose to make any representations about the manner in which the application should be determined”
Normally, such responses take the form of a written recommendation by the parish or community council, but many local planning authorities have adopted the good practice of enabling representations to be made in person at committee.
Statutorily 14 days needs to be given to parish and community councils to respond; however, Wyre Forest District Council has extended that to 21 days to afford more time for meaningful comment.
Planning applications where parish and community council comments have been sought will not be determined until:
a) the parish or community council inform the Local Planning Authority that they do not intend to make representations
b) representations are made by that council
c) the period of 21 days for responses to be made has elapsed.
Parish or community councils are all notified of the final decision made on applications.
Wyre Forest House