Planning Committee Terms of Reference

Objective

Bath & North East Somerset Council (the Local Planning Authority, hereafter ‘the LPA’) has a statutory obligation to consult local councils (i.e. Town and Parish Councils) on all planning applications and associated issues (such as LISTED BUILDING CONSENT and TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS) affecting their areas.

Claverton Parish Council (hereafter ‘the PC’) shall have a Planning Committee (hereafter ‘the Committee’) to discuss planning applications and planning policy. The Committee will consider, and may respond on behalf of the PC to, all applications for planning permission and planning appeals submitted to the PC by the LPA. All planning policy issues will be the subject of recommendations from the Committee to the PC.

Membership

Committee Membership shall comprise the Chairman of the PC (ex officio) and three members of the PC appointed at the PC’s Annual Meeting. All members so appointed are voting members of the Committee. The quorum of the Committee is two.
 
A Chairman will be elected annually at the Committee’s first meeting after the PC’s Annual Meeting. S/he will hold office until the next Annual Meeting of the PC in accordance with its Standing Orders.

If the numbers of Councillors present (not including those debarred by reason of a declared pecuniary interest) is below the required quorum, no meeting can be held. Accordingly, any business shall stand   adjourned until the next meeting of the Committee.

Areas of Responsibility

The Committee has delegated authority from the PC to:

• make representations to the LPA on applications for planning permission which have been notified to the PC in accordance with relevant legislation or decide, in any given case, not to exercise its delegated authority but, instead, to refer the application, with its recommendations, to the PC.

• make representations in respect of appeals against the refusal of planning permission.

• make representations to the relevant authorities in respect of enforcement action or any developments which appear to breach planning regulations.

• monitor and review the PC’s planning procedures and, as necessary, make recommendations to the PC for amendments to the planning consultation procedure.

• deal with any other planning related matter referred to it by the PC.
 
All powers shall be exercised in accordance with Standing Orders or policy adopted, or directions given, by the PC.

Planning Applications

Before an application is formally submitted, the members of the Committee (while not experts) stand ready to provide initial guidance to members of the community.

On receipt from the LPA, planning applications shall be circulated to Committee members by the Parish Clerk. (Note: The applications may be accessed by Committee members via the LPA portal)

Each planning application shall be considered on its merits and in the light of key material policy considerations included in the LPA’s Local Plan, relevant Supplementary Planning Documents and the Claverton Conservation Area Character Appraisal, i.e. the Parish Council should be aware of, and take full account of, the LPA’s planning policies and other material considerations.

The Committee may also take account of local knowledge which may have a bearing on the consideration of a planning application; provided it has regard to the LPA’s planning policies in reaching a view. (Note: For the PC’s views to be taken seriously they must be linked to the LPA’s planning policies.)

The Committee may consult relevant bodies to help its members reach a fair view on applications prior to the meeting. The committee will seek to ensure that the rights of applicants, and those wishing to comment on applications, are respected.

Site meetings may be arranged by the Chairman of the Committee prior to a meeting of the Committee. All members of the Committee shall be invited to site meetings.

The Committee may co-opt members of the public onto the Committee to assist it in its deliberations. Such co-opted members may not vote.

Planning Policy

The Committee shall have responsibility for considering planning policy issues, such as the Local Development Framework, including Supplementary Planning Documents and other plans that appear from time to time; and for making recommendations on those matters to the PC.

The Committee may nominate one or more of its members to sit as the Council’s representative on relevant statutory and ad hoc planning consultative groups such as the Valley Parishes Alliance. Those representatives will report to the Committee which will, as appropriate, make recommendations to the PC.

Meetings

The Chairman of the Committee will ask the Clerk to arrange Committee meetings as necessary to ensure that all planning applications can be discussed, and replied to, within the LPA’s prescribed timescale.

The Committee will seek to ensure that all comments from relevant parties received prior to a meeting concerning planning applications (not including enforcement notices) are considered at the meeting.

Minutes of all meetings will be recorded by the Parish Clerk (or any member nominated at a meeting) and circulated at the PC. All planning applications relevant to the PC as a statutory consultee, and the outcome of those applications, will appear in the agenda for the subsequent PC meeting.
 
Responses

The Parish Clerk will inform the LPA (and/or other relevant body) of the Committee’s recommendations. All correspondence with the LPA should be conducted through the Parish Clerk, so far as practicable.

The Committee may nominate one of its members to speak at, or otherwise attend, a meeting of the LPA at which a planning application, relevant to the PC, is to be considered.

Where an application is subject to appeal, the Committee may make written representations and/or nominate one of its members to attend the hearing.

Review

These terms of reference will be reviewed at the PC’s Annual Meeting.


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