Scheme of delegation for planning decisions

Some planning applications are decided by the Planning Committee. But for most planning applications, the responsiblity for making the final decision on whether to grant permission is delegated to the Planning Manager, under the council's scheme of delegation.

The following functions are delegated to the planning manager subject to any conditions set out below:

  1. determination of all applications for planning permission in accordance with the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 (except for major developments which are described below) within the constraints set out below:
    1. approval of applications which comply with existing approved statutory statements of policy and substantially comply with non-statutory policy guidelines, except in the case of minor variations ** from approved planning standards and policies
    2. refusal of applications which do not comply with existing approved statutory or non-statutory statements of policy.

Calling in applications

Ward councillors (commonly known as ward members) are able to 'call in' to Planning Committee any application which is normally decided by delegation to the planning manager.

The planning manager shall refer applications under sections 1(a) and 1(b) above to the Planning Committee for determination provided any Ward Member in which the Application Site is situated has:

  1. set out in writing to the planning case officer, within 7 days from the expiry of the residents consultation, the detailed planning issues/concerns which s/he has in respect of the Application and
  2. s/he has had an official and formal discussion on such planning issues/concerns with the Planning Case Officer or the Planning Manager or the Service Lead Planning & Transport and the issues/concerns remain unresolved. The Ward Member will be informed of the date of the meeting so that s/he can attend and speak in support of the referral.

Major applications

All planning applications for major development are discussed at Planning Committee. The definition of a major development is:

  • development of 10 or more dwellings (0.5 hectare where no numbers are given)
  • development of buildings of 1,000 square metres floorspace or development on sites of 1 hectare or more
  • changes of use involving the creation of 10 or more residential accommodation or non-residential accommodation exceeding 1000 square metres or more 
  • working of minerals and waste development (excluding minor ancillary development to an existing use, details pursuant to a permission or variation or deletion of conditions previously imposed.

**Minor variations are variations to the council’s standards in respect of the guidelines and policies, for example parking provision, minimum garden sizes, distances between buildings, etc and national planning policy framework as determined by the planning manager.

***A minor material change is one whose scale and nature results in a development which is not substantially different from that which has been approved, as determined by the planning manager.