We are often asked similar questions regarding the planning process, which if you haven’t been through before can seem daunting. The FAQ section offers an insight in the role that Feock Parish Council plays in the planning process. It also answers questions on meeting etiquette, accessing the Cornwall Council Online Planning register, setting up planning alerts in your area, and general points on planning.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Cornwall Council is the local planning authority and determines all planning applications in the County, therefore all planning applications should be submitted to them via their online planning portal. Please use this link https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-advice-and-guidance/ which should take you to Cornwall Council’s main planning page where you will find further links which can help answer any questions you have about the process of submitting an application and the procedure Cornwall Council use to determine an application.
FEOCK PARISH COUNCIL’S ROLE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS
After receiving and validating a planning application Cornwall Council have a statutory duty to consult the Parish Council (and depending on the location and type of application other statutory and non-statutory consultees too). This gives Feock Parish Council the opportunity to highlight to the Planning Officer any material planning considerations and relevant policies of the Feock Neighbourhood Development Plan which we feel should be considered in the Officer’s determination of the application.
FEOCK NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN
In March 2018 an overwhelming majority of residents (87.6% of those that voted) approved the adoption of the Feock Neighbourhood Development Plan as a legal policy document to be used to help guide planning decisions in the Parish.
Our Neighbourhood Development Plan seeks to ensure that the right development happens in the right places in line with local need, but is there to protect the distinct character of the parish and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to safeguard and enhance the natural and historic environment, to improve pedestrian and cycle links, support local businesses and jobs, protect and improve green and open spaces, enhance village hearts and gateways and protect existing and improve community facilities.
Please use these links to view the plan:
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FEOCK PARISH COUNCIL USE FOR DECIDING THEIR CONSULTEE COMMENT?
The Parish Council usually have 21 days (only 14 days for ‘non-material amendment’ applications and applications for ‘permission in principle’) from receipt of a consultation request from Cornwall Council to submit their comments on the application. To provide this, we follow the procedure detailed below.
Process for consideration of planning applications by the full Parish Council:
Notification of a planning application for consultee comment received from Cornwall Council
A list of the week’s planning applications is emailed to committee members each Monday (together with any comments that have been received from the public/neighbours or applicants/agents etc), for them to view the details of the application, discuss via email during the week and provide initial thoughts.
Application details publicised on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page. On the website the application will be listed under ‘Current Planning Applications’ and the date of the meeting where the consultee comment will be agreed stated, along with information on how to submit any comments on the application to Parish Councillors
The following Monday an initial consultee comment (based on the previous week’s emailed discussion) is drafted by the Assistant Clerk and added to a list to be taken to the next planning meeting.
Before the meeting this list will be split into two - Schedule A and Schedule B:
Schedule A non-controversial applications
Schedule B – controversial applications
Schedule B applications:
Those where members of the public and/or neighbours have submitted comments and/or where applicants or agents have advised that they wish to attend the planning meeting and speak about the application. Or where a Parish Councillor has requested it be placed.
Schedule A applications:
Those not considered to be controversial, where no members of the public or neighbours have submitted comments and there has been no request from an applicant/agent or member of the public to attend the planning meeting to speak about the application.
At the meeting it will be decided if any of the applications need to be transferred to the other list.
The drafted consultee comments on Schedule A may be proposed, seconded and agreed en bloc
Following public participation and ensuing debate the Schedule B draft consultee comments maybe amended as appropriate and proposed, seconded and agreed
All resolved consultee comments will be submitted to Cornwall Council’s online planning register the following day
THE APPLICATION I AM INTERESTED IN IS ON THE AGENDA FOR A PARISH COUNCIL MEETING, HOW/WHEN DO I SPEAK AT THE MEETING?
The agenda for the meeting will be publicised (website/noticeboards) and you will see an agenda item near the start for ‘Public Participation’ this is when you will have the opportunity to stand up, introduce yourself and make comments on the application. You will usually have 3 minutes in which to state your views and Councillors may ask you questions. Please note that this is not a platform for debate with any other members of the public attending the meeting and your comments should be addressed to the Chair of the meeting. Please note that this will be your only opportunity to speak at the meeting. After this section the meeting will go into ‘closed session’ and even when the application you are interested in is being discussed and a comment resolved you are not permitted to speak. Please therefore do not miss your opportunity to speak during the ‘Public Participation’ part of the meeting. It would be helpful if you do plan to attend and speak at a meeting that you contact us in advance ( via the Assistant Clerk - firstname.lastname@example.org ) so that we can manage numbers and ensure enough seating is provided.
CAN I COMMENT ON A PLANNING APPLICATION?
Yes, anyone can comment on a planning application. The table below provides a list of material planning considerations which can be taken into consideration.
Local Development Framework
Development Plan documents
Supplementary planning documents
The Statement of Community Involvement
The annual monitoring report
Government planning guidance
The Council’s corporate policies
Highway safety and traffic levels
Noise, disturbance and smells resulting from the proposed development
Design, appearance and layout
Conservation of buildings, trees and open land
Impact on the appearance of the area
Effect on the level of daylight and privacy of existing property
Need to safeguard the countryside or protected species of plant or animal
Planning case law and previous decisions
The need for the development
The planning history of the site
Planning considerations which are not relevant
Private property rights such as covenants
The developer's identity, morals or motives
Effect on the value of your property
Loss of a private view
Private neighbour disputes
As stated previously Parish Councillors welcome neighbour/public comments to take into consideration while they are deciding on their consultee comment. However, it is vital that you also submit your views to Cornwall Council as they are the local planning authority, and it is they who will decide the application. So even if you have emailed comments to the Parish Council and/or attended a Parish Council meeting and expressed your views of the application to Councillors you should also submit them to Cornwall Council. This link to their website provides further information and details on how to do this - https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-advice-and-guidance/how-to-respond-to-planning-applications/
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PARISH COUNCIL’S VIEW OF AN APPLICATION DIFFERS TO THAT OF CORNWALL COUNCIL’S PLANNING OFFICER?
Where the Parish Council’s view of an application differs from that of the Planning Officer, we would expect the Local Council Protocol Procedure to be followed:
A letter/email will be received from the Planning Officer in which they state the reason why their recommended decision is contrary to the views of the Parish Council and gives the Parish Council a further 5 days in which to reply with one of the following options:
1. Agree with the recommendation
2. Agree to disagree
3. Having made strong planning reasons to maintain your original position on the proposal against my recommendation, it is requested that the application is determined by the Cornwall Council’s Planning Committee (Cornwall Council’s Central Sub Area Planning committee)
It is possible that plans have been revised and amendments made to the application or additional information received from consultees that means that the Planning Officer considers the proposal meets with planning policy. In this instance it is possible that the Parish Council will choose option 1.
Should the Parish Council, despite the Planning Officer’s recommendation, still consider that the application should be refused/approved (depending on the situation) then Councillors have the option to choose option 2 or 3. It is likely that option 2 will be taken when Councillors do not agree with the recommendation and wish to maintain their support/objection (depending on the situation) but are aware that in the circumstances their view point has reached its limit.
Should Parish Councillors choose option 3, and request the application is ‘called in’ and decided by Cornwall Council’s Central Sub Area Planning committee then the Planning Officer will discuss the request with the Cornwall Councillor for the Feock and Kea Division (Cllr Martyn Alvey). Ultimately it is their decision as to whether the application is taken to committee or whether a delegated decision by the Planning Officer can be made.
WHO ON THE PARISH COUNCIL DECIDES THE RESPONSE TO A LOCAL COUNCIL PROTOCOL PROCEDURE COMMUNICATION?
As we only have 5 working days in which to provide a reply to a protocol procedure communication (if a reply is not received within 5 days then the Planning Officer will proceed with their recommended determination of the application), the Parish Council’s response will be decided by two Councillors, usually those that proposed and seconded the original consultee comment.
HOW CAN I ENSURE THAT I AM AWARE OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS IN MY AREA
Cornwall Council notify all residential properties with boundaries abutting the site of a planning application in writing. Also, there are some circumstances where a yellow site notice is displayed however this does not happen for all applications. Please use this link to Cornwall Council’s website which gives further information on how they publicise planning applications - https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-advice-and-guidance/notification-and-publicity-of-planning-and-related-applications/
To ensure that you are aware of planning applications in your area we recommend setting up planning alerts via Cornwall Council’s online planning portal. This link will take you to Cornwall Council’s website where you will find details of how to do this - https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications/online-planning-register/#NeverMiss