What is planning?
Planning is about how people make decisions about our cities, towns and countryside. So when we want to build a new house or someone wants to develop a new shopping centre, your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether it should go ahead. ‘Local planning authority’ usually means the district or borough council. Without a planning system, everyone could construct buildings anywhere, or use land in any way they wanted, no matter what effect this would have on other people who live or work in their area. For this reason the Council is required by law to control development within its boundaries.
This is called the planning system.
We operate a service to and for the local community, the purpose of which is to make sure that:
- New building is in the right place.
- New uses for land and buildings are right for the location.
- New homes, places of work, shops and community facilities are properly provided where they are needed.
- Valuable open spaces, trees, historic buildings and areas of particular value are protected.
Should you have any difficulty in finding the information you require or you are uncertain of anything please contact us.
We often have to strike a balance between the needs of the borough as a whole and the interests of those living near a proposed development. As a citizen you will have the ability to make your views known in the majority of cases, whether you are supporting or objecting to an application. More information on supporting or objecting to an application.
The majority of decisions on planning applications are made by Officers under delegated powers. Where there are objections lodged to relatively minor proposals officers may consult with Councillors before making a decision. Applications for either major or contentious proposals are decided by the Council's Planning Committee.
The Committee usually meets every two weeks on a Thursday at 6.30pm.
Planning decisions will usually follow Government guidance and the Local Plan for the Borough. The Local Plan sets out the Council's policies and proposals for future development and the use of land. We also consider however the effect of proposals on the environment, traffic and local residents and any other development matters before making decisions.
The Planning Department also deals with planning appeals, whether by written representation, local inquiry or informal hearing.
You can view details on planning appeals.