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Can a council object to a planning application without discussing at a meeting?

0 votes
Our Parish Council made an objection to our planning application. This was not discussed at any official meeting as one did not take place in the time between the application being validated and the objection being made.

Furthermore, most of the objection reasons do not relate to our application. For example, our application is for a minor change at the back of the house overlooking open land, but the comments refer to a large development, changing the appearance of the street significantly. The change is not visible from the street or neighbours, so the PC have clearly not read the application properly or checked the location.

Nonetheless, we are concerned it will damage our chance of approval.

Can we ask the PC to withdraw the comment? If it causes our application to be rejected do we have any recourse?
by (140 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Yes, you can request the parish council to withdraw or modify its submission. It is possible that the council has delegated decisions on planning matters to the clerk, in which case a meeting would not be required. Otherwise, nobody is entitled to claim to be putting the council's view without a meeting.

I wouldn't worry too much. The parish council is a statutory consultee, but the planning authority will only take account of the parish council's view if it contains valid planning considerations.
by (30.0k points)
The clerk should not be empowered to determine the council response to planning applications. If that happens, the response is not technically from its elected members.
It is not a requirement that the response be from members, only that it be a council decision. Just as the actual planning decision may be made by officers of the planning authority.
When that happens in a principal authority, it is via a scheme of delegation to qualified planning officers. If a town or parish council delegates this too, it is far less likely that the clerk will be qualified!
That may be so, but neither are parish councillors normally advised by professional planners. Parish councils are able to delegate decisions to the clerk if they wish, regardless. The clerk can consult with councillors, but email or similar exchanges do not constitute a council decision.
+1 vote
You need to know the big picture here. It is possible that due to the problems holding face to face meetings, the council could have met online and not recorded the meeting. Alternatively the Clerk or a councillor could have suggested the council objects, provided an objection text and circulated it to all members by E mail.  The E mail might have asked the cllrs to respond as to whether to lodge the objection via an E Mail poll.  I would suggest sending a freedom of Information request asking for all council correspondence relating to the council responses to your application. What you receive if anything will establish if the objection was made in a way permitted under legislation. Should that be the case, the parish council objection counts as just one consultee response and does not punch above that numerical weight.
by (25.3k points)

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