The problem being addressed was planning committee had too many meetings, which were too long (continuing WAY too late), and which had too many small and pretty straightforward applications that they were being asked to determine. Officer time to prepare a report for committee is expensive, and councillors looked at ways to trim costs without sacrificing democratic process and opportunity to object.
The changes were, essentially:
- Put a 150 minute limit on planning committee meetings. They could be extended by 30 more minutes under some circumstances and via a vote by all members.
- Major applications automatically go to committee if the parish or town council opinion differs from the planning officer’s recommendation.
- Other applications must be called in to committee by the district councillors. In exceptional circumstances, one of the planning managers can call one in.
There’s a call-in deadline 28 days after an application is registered at Vale.
Here are the applications I have called in, and the call-in date, which have yet to come to Planning Committee.
- 54 Hurst Rise Rd. 8 Jan 2017
- land adjacent to 16 Yarnells Rd. 23 Feb 2017
- 1 Maple Close. 10 Mar 2017
- Red Copse Boars Hill (V0918). 1 May 2017
- 8 Elms Road. 15 Jun 2017
If you ever have questions about a planning application, be sure to contact me well before the 28 day deadline. After that, it’s difficult to do anything constructive.