We decide planning applications through two routes:
- delegated powers – where there are outstanding objections to an application, the advice of our Members’ Briefing Panel will be sought
- planning committee – meeting dates and minutes
Most planning applications, 90%, are decided by delegated powers.
Small scale applications are usually decided under delegated powers. These include:
- householder alterations and extensions
- changes of use of small amounts of floorspace or, in the case of residential, involving the creation of less than five units
- minor extensions to restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and hot food takeaways or minor variations to conditions
- applications involving simple legal agreements, for example, making new flats 'car-free'
- minor applications where the council is the applicant
A planning officer recommends whether permission should be granted for an application having assessed it against all related evidence, policies and consultation responses and a senior member of staff reviews that decision, which is taken on behalf of the Director for Supporting Communities.
Members briefing panel
If there are relevant material objections to an application from a Conservation Area Advisory Committee, a residents or amenity group or Ward Councillor, or three or more respondents from different addresses, a decision cannot be made by delegated powers without first bringing it to the attention of our Members’ Briefing Panel.
The panel is made up of three councillors:
Chair of our Planning Committee, Councillor Heather Johnson (Labour)
Vice Chair, Councillor Flick Rea (Liberal Democrat)
Councillor Andrew Parkinson (Conservative)
The panel does not decide upon applications. Its role is to consider the nature and extent of the outstanding objections to the application.
The Panel will then either:
- advise that they are satisfied with the proposed decision being made under delegated powers
- recommend that the decision is made by the Planning Committee instead
Development control – members' briefing case list
The Members Briefing Panel is not a public meeting.
The details of applications that will be considered at our next Members’ Briefing Panel (held every Monday) are available below:
Applications that cannot be decided under delegated powers (that is, approximately 10 per cent of all applications) are made by members of our Planning Committee. These typically include applications for:
- major developments where 10 or more new homes will be built or the floorspace will be over 1000m²
- some minor developments where there will be an increase in floorspace
- changes of use to businesses serving hot food, for example, restaurants, takeaways etc.
- demolition or part demolition of listed buildings or buildings in a conservation area
- any application which is not covered by the policies in our Local Plan
- most applications which would involve making a legal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act
The planning officer writes a report recommending whether planning permission should be granted or refused. The report is then considered at a public meeting of the Planning Committee. These meetings are held every three weeks.
If your planning application needs to be considered by the Planning Committee, we will tell you when the meeting will be.
I want to speak at a planning committee meeting
Minutes, agenda and reports
Agendas and planning officers' reports are available five working days before the committee meeting is held.
Draft minutes are published within five full working days of the meeting and are approved at the following meeting.
Live webcasts of planning committee meetings
live webcasts of Planning Committee meetings (or archived webcasts of previous meetings)
sets how we operate, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed (includes the planning and licensing protocol).