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Can a parish councillor declare she is against all development?

0 votes
I sit on a planning committee for a very large parish. We consult on about 18-20 planning applications a month and they're on everything from major new infrastructure to replacing an existing conservatory.  A new councillor (by-election winner) of two months has joined the committee and has declared that she is against all development and will vote against all new planning applications, no matter how small.
Is this predetermination?  It seems so to me.
asked by (140 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
A couple of points here to consider. Firstly PC planning committees are there to formulate the response to a planning application based entirely on planning criteria and not on personal preferences. They bring to the planning table access to local information possibly not considered by the planners at county level including the requirements of their NDP if formulated. Those on the committee are to make decisions based on the planning laws in force at the time and nothing else. Personal preferences ( even as extreme as those stated) by a councillor should be presented to the planners as just that as a private individual.

Councillors are required to act under the Nolan principles and for the good of the community and not their personal viewpoints. It's all there in the code of conduct.
answered by (11.1k points)
0 votes
From personal experience you won't get very far advancing a pre-determination argument whilst transacting what is merely a consultee planning role.  The limited role (merely commenting) in the process does not lend itself to sustaining argument.   In any event very little you can do (or indeed your principle authority) if you went as far as going down the NOLAN Code of Conduct line.  The best advise that I can give is go talk to this new member,  get to know them and make them feel welcome.  The last thing you want to be seen to be doing is "rule-sharking" someone whose just been elected on fresh elected mandate.  The member may just feel its what they stood on and so in principle cannot support new development.  Over time you may find as they realise they have little to no influence anyway in process they move on to other areas of council business naturally.
answered by (3k points)

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