Constitution - Part 6G - Code of practice for the delegation of planning and enforcement functions



1.1 On receipt of a planning application, the Case Officer will decide whether it falls within a category on which a delegated decision is appropriate. Those matters which have been delegated to the Director of Environment and Community Services are set out in the Scheme of Delegation to Officers at Part 3A paragraph 6.20 (b).

1.2 Members of the Development Control and Regulation Committee ('the Committee') will receive (by e-mail or post as appropriate) a weekly list of new planning applications with an indication of those to be dealt with under the delegation scheme and the name of the Case Officer.

1.3 Consultations and publicity will be undertaken as required by planning regulations with particular regard to ensuring that consultees and the public are made aware of the deadlines for response and that applications may be dealt with under delegated powers. (Local members will be consulted as now under this procedure.  The member for an adjoining electoral division will also be consulted where proposals are close to the division boundary and for the purpose of this Code of Practice they will be treated as a local member, see paragraph 1.4 below).

1.4 The local member and members of the Committee may request that an application is determined by the Committee.  Requests should be made in writing within 28 days of receiving notification of the application and set out the grounds on which the request to call in the application is based.  (It is strongly recommended that before making a formal request members should contact the Case Officer and discuss the issues of concern as it may be possible that they can be resolved or covered by planning conditions on any permission).  A written request from a local member or a member of the Committee for a referral of an application to Committee will mean that the application will be referred to Committee.  

1.5 Applications to which a consultee has raised objection or there has been a representation raising a relevant planning objection within the specified response period will be referred to the Committee unless the matter raised can be resolved or dealt with by appropriate and enforceable planning conditions on any permission.  In the case of applications where a member of the public has asked to make representations in person they shall be referred to the Committee.

1.6 At the end of the period allowed for representations and consultations the Case Officers shall prepare a report describing the development, identifying the relevant development plan policies and other material considerations taken into account, having regard to the Human Rights Act 1998, and making a recommendation either that the application be approved, setting out the reasons for that decision and the conditions to which it would be subject, or that it be refused, giving reasons in full.  (In the case of refusal there would be a strong possibility that the application would be referred to the Committee unless grounds were clear and well established).

1.7 The report shall be passed to the Assistant Director - Economy and Environment or an officer nominated by him/her.  If the recommendation is agreed the decision shall be issued.

1.8 All reports and documentation relating to a decision shall be retained on the application file and be available for public inspection.

1.9 Delegated planning decisions shall be included in a schedule reported to the next available Committee meeting setting out the decision taken.

1.10 Any delegated matter may be referred to the Committee at the discretion of the Assistant Director - Economy and Environment.

1.11 Any application submitted by a member or officer of the County Council shall be presented to the Committee.  This is necessary to demonstrate transparency and probity.

1.12 Enforcement action shall be reported to the first Committee following the service of any notice.  A schedule of all current enforcement action will be provided, setting out the timescale for action and with updates to show progress against those timescales.

1.13 The scheme of delegation shall be subject to annual review by the Committee to ensure that it remains appropriate and operates effectively.