How decisions are made

Each planning application is different and must therefore be considered on its own individual merits. Decision on planning applications are taken based on ‘material considerations’ which include the development plan. Where the development plan has policies which affect the proposal, they will dictate the decision, unless there are other material considerations which should take precedence.

Material considerations

Material considerations include the following:

  • How the application complies with national, regional and local planning policies, circulars and guidance
  • Whether there are any other issues or planning constraints affecting the site, such as flood risk, contaminated land, conservation areas, listed buildings etc
  • How the development fits in with its surroundings
  • Design and appearance
  • Scale
  • Materials
  • Access
  • Traffic generation
  • Use/activity to be carried out
  • Nuisance e.g. noise
  • Contribution to any significant local, national or international objective
  • Previous appeal decisions
  • Compliance with Central Government's National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Central Government's planning circulars e.g. affordable housing, planning gain, and the historic environment

Issues which we cannot consider when making a planning decision:

  • Personal circumstances of the applicant
  • Private rights and covenants
  • Boundary disputes/ownership matters
  • Other legislation such as the Party Wall Act  
  • Protection of a view
  • Property values/financial loss.

The amount of opposition or support for a scheme does not in itself constitute a reason for either granting or refusing planning permission.

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