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Late Response to a Planning Appeal

0 votes
Hi All

A bit of an odd one here.  A local planning application was rejected by our County Council, and our Parish also objected.  It is not supported by the County, Parish or the (by far) majority of the electorate either.

The applicant has now taken it to formal planning appeal, and the Planning Inspector has given the required notices.

Part of that notice is that all comments (Interested Party Comments IPC) have a cut-off 27th July 2022 and presumably be close of play on that day, which we take to be 1700.  The clerk has confirmed (and we sort of already knew) that the Parish Council response is classed as an IPC

However, the Parish Council will not be meeting until the evening of the 27th July, so cannot submit a response to the next day 28th, which will be after the cut off date.

Several councillors have asked the Clerk if this is OK, as we are of the belief that without permission from the Planning Inspector, any comments received after the cut-off date are legally discounted.  The Clerk has replied (quite tersely I will add) that they can submit late, and it doesn't matter and we don't know what we are talking about! (yes, they do have the God Complex)

This has raised an alarm with us as if it is late submitted and then rejected by the Planning Inspector, it is going to look very much like we have 'done over' the views of the electorate and are now in favour of the applicant (by deliberate act of omission).

But getting back to the main point, can an Interested Party Comment be submitted late without written permission?

Ta Muchly

Down_Here
by (1.9k points)

7 Answers

0 votes
It is my understanding that submissions sent to your planning authority are automatically sent to the Planning Inspectorate when the application is referred on appeal by the Planning Inspector so comments you have already submitted should automatically be included.  If you have anything further to add, it may be possible to request an extension for the reasons stated.
by (6.6k points)
In this case, it is additional to the original submission, as new information has come up to light that the PC wish to comment on.

As of today (I asked them) no extension has been asked for, and they have no intention of  requesting one!
0 votes
As Delboy’swife has answered, all the previous documents and comments are passed to the Planning Inspector but they are quite tight on deadlines and I would not recommend missing that deadline if your Council wish to add anything further.   You can only comment on the objections from your County Council, nothing new can be added to the pot so to speak.  If your Council can only submit after the deadline, don’t just assume they will be accepted, contact them and ask,  wouldn’t your Clerk normally ask your County Council for an extension if needed to discuss planning applications so be polite send off a quick email and ask if your comments can be submitted the following day.
by (3.2k points)
0 votes
In my experience the planning inspector will not extend a deadline - otherwise it isn't a deadline.

I think you have time (just!- deadline probably tomorrow1) to call an extra-ordinary meeting of the council to agree a course of action.
by (3.9k points)
0 votes

Appeals - and who may contribute to them - can vary according to type. 

Para 5.2 of the link may be relevant: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/planning-appeals-dealt-with-by-written-representations-taking-part/guide-to-taking-part-in-planning-and-listed-building-consent-appeals-proceeding-by-written-representations-england#what-you-can-do

Sounds like there is a clerk problem in the fringes too. 

Even if the PC cannot achieve a corporate input prior to the deadline because of scheduled meetings, why not just convene an extraordinary meeting specifically for this item only - especially if it is a contentious community issue. 

Failing that, there’s nothing to stop each individual, or a group of like minded, councillors from submitting the ‘new information’ unilaterally and cut the clerk out of the loop all together.  Whether PI will consider it or not will be for the process, according to application and appeal type, to determine - no harm firing a letter in to PI if there is relevant new info  what have you lost if they bin it...?

Sounds like the clerk has forgotten they are a facilitator for the will of the PC - not a barrier to it. 

by (4.4k points)
0 votes
Putting to side Officer Conduct (which rings alarm bells) why can't you submit the comment on the night of the meeting. Surely you approve the submission and your officer simply hits send. You prepare a draft submission and seeking councils assent. Am not sure why anyone would want to wait till the next day to send (particularly when deadline is the 27th)
by (5.2k points)
+2 votes
I know this is slightly off topic but in my experience at both Parish and Borough level Parish Councils seem to spend an enormous amount of time on planning issues to little effect

In some more extreme cases they spend enormous amounts of time and money showboating knowing they are having little or no impact
by (7.3k points)
Controversial put in vast majority of cases I have observed accurate assessment.  I'd be relieved if planning "consultee" role was removed completely from Parish/Town Councils.  If individuals want to submit stuff let them crack on.  Let tier 1 councils concentrate on areas they are directly responsible for.
I assume there’s no legal requirement for PC’s to review every case ?
As a Borough Councillor I look through the weekly list and pick out the occasional one that looks  contentious plus of course residents approach me
Next step is to review all the papers and speak to the Officer

In three years I’ve called in three cases one was withdrawn, one amended and one ongoing

In the same time the Parish have objected to multiple applications with apparently no effect
I made EXACTLY this point at a recent meeting - if there is no applicant, agent or commentator in the room and if there are no online comments - why would the PC spend the time attempting to discuss something that the majority haven’t even looked at prior to the meeting.
I’ve been the applicant at a TC meeting where my application was being considered and they started by discussing completely the wrong application!  It is OFFENSIVE for idiots to express an opinion on somebody else’s aspirations if they don’t even have the capacity or decency to properly review it beforehand.
In the circumstances I found myself in at my own PC, there are numerous agenda items which have been pushed off the order of business - some repeatedly over a period of 6 months due to a lack of time to resolve.
Something has to ‘give’ to get these legacy issues resolved and there is an opportunity to move planning to lower down the agenda so that it falls off the bottom if time runs out.
The suggestion wasn’t universally well received tbh but it’s gonna happen whether welcome or not.
The concessions (which I think are quite reasonable) would be that:

If the agent, applicant or any 3rd party commentator is in the room, if there are comments online at the LPA planning page, or if it is a significant or controversial application - then it may be considered early on the agenda.
If it is Mrs Miggins porch or rear extension, there is nobody wanting to make any representations and there are no adverse comments online - just let it go.  It is for the LPA to decide.
Having said all of that, I do want to re-state the importance of PC contributions to controversial applications. There are 3 recent headline cases I have in mind where big developers have been humbled by coordinated local opinion (elsewhere in the county) which had a direct effect upon the case officer’s decision. They may still be appealed of course but that’s another story.
0 votes
You should convene an Extraordinary meeting and decide your response at it, then submit it within the deadline. The planning inspectorate will not accept a late submission, end of. That said, a town or parish council comment or response carries no more weight than one from a single member of the public.  It is highly unlikely that your councils submission would benefit from collective superior knowledge of planning legislation over and above the county council
by (32.3k points)

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