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How do Planning Applications Committees get notification of the progress of longstanding applications?

0 votes
We have an officer search the weekly list sent by the LPA for relevant apps.which is fine for the new applications.
Recently an app came to the LPA committee for a large develeopment that had been in the pipeline for years, we missed the opportunity to comment bc it wasnt picked up. the Clerk says that it is up to members to stay alert to for progress.
asked by (150 points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
It’s no more than a 5 minute job for each individual Cllr to check LA planning portal weekly, fortnightly but certainly before a meeting - use advanced search, parish and relevant date set - to be aware of what is happening. If anyone thinks they can just turn up at a meeting and cast a valid opinion without having first personally reviewed on line documents (and ideally visited the site), then they are not fit to express an opinion.
In this instance it is for Cllr’s to prepare themselves rather than rely upon staff to provide details.
answered by (6.3k points)
I suggested to our previous Chair years ago that the PC should advise Councillors to visit sites regarding matters under consideration on the Agenda including planning and he was horrified at the idea
Slightly off topic but what real impact do PC’s have over planning as based on my experience it is zero
Site visits!  Yeah, I received exactly the same response );0)
(a) It is not OK to spend minutes looking at some blurry on screen plans at a meeting and then pass a credible comment upon the hopes and dreams of residents.
Thankfully, since (a) is unfortunately common, the second part of your question kinda compensates for it.

(b) what real impact do PC’s have over planning - thankfully, very little to none because consultee comments are very rarely properly considered or aligned with existing planning law.

Having done an FoI for a 24 month period seeking the answer to how many 5 day protocols had been issued, how many had been replied to and what the outcome was it was patently apparent that very nearly 100% of PC 'objections' resulted in LA approvals and numerous PC 'supports' resulted in LA refusals.

Whilst this particular PC continue to lambast the LA for ignoring their consultee contributions, what they consistently fail to recognise is that it is the content of the consultee comments which is inappropriate / inadequate / unlawful.

And so the cycle continues.

So the answer to (b) is zero (or very close to)
Yes, there is no issue with the weekly lists.
We are a town which is becoming overwhelmed with development ( like many) - these are applications that have been several years in the pipeline and so don't appear on the weekly list. Recently a large and significant development was granted approval for outline PP without our comment as statutory consult bc apparently the PAC was not advised in time to make a comment. This is both an embarrassment and a dereliction in our responsibility as representatives of the community.
I have asked the Clerk if there is a mechanism we could adopt in order not to miss another opportunity, other than "members must stay alert".
There is a system to 'track' any changes / updates to existing planning applications which would capture long standing applications.  You could either set it as a staff duty or individuals could do it themselves.  I can't add a pic here so will start a new answer so that I can attach a screen shot.  It's quite simple to do if you have an online account with your LA.

Attaching an image seems to have beaten me!  If you go to yr LA planning page, select any application, there should be a "track" button.  Press that and it'll drop into your profile as tracked application.
@letsbehonest thank you!
a simple answer to my question! I wish I had known this before, but very happy to know it now, and will share it with others.
Forgot to mention, you should get an auto email every time a tracked application is updated with additional comments / documents / decisions etc. It’s no trouble to keep an eye on yr tracked app’s but the auto email option will give you a prompt.
0 votes
Most planning authorities have a public access website where the progress of an application can be tracked. LA 's that use IDOX public access offer residents including Parish Cllrs to get E mail updates on the application progress.
answered by (24.6k points)
+1 vote
Do you have councillors email addresses- the weekly alerts can be setup to go straight to your emails
answered by (5.5k points)
+1 vote
Its an interesting one.  Various Locals ALCs seem to keep drumming in "trust your officers" mantra.  Yet when this operating model goes wrong the tables are quickly turned and its pinned firmly on the elected members. I am aware in past of instances elsewhere where simply posing "have you seen X,Y,Z on the portal" has been met cries of undermining officers, not trusting them, not letting them get on with jobs etc etc.
answered by (3k points)

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