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0 votes
Hello.

I wanted to know if a Ward councillor and Parish councillor(both same person) who is also into planning committe can comment on a planning application against applicant?.He has taken one resident's side and visited thier property and written a letter against the applicant to the planning officer representing them with thier address.I want to know is he allowed to do that? Is it not true that  he should not represent any body either applicant or the person who is objecting for the application, when on planning committe.Thank you in advance.
by (120 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Not at all Ward Councillors even those on the planning committee are perfectly entitled to oppose a planning application or even “ call it in “ but they cannot take part in any subsequent debate or vote on the issue

They are also entitled to object on someone’s behalf who wishes to remain anonymous as it isn’t unusual for “pressure” to be applied against local residents especially when a lot of money is at stake
by (11.6k points)
Thank you for your answer Jules.This councillor has openly objected on the council website take sides with the applicants neighbour.Is it not breech of code of conduct of councillor which says he should avoid conflict of interest?.I am really disappointed with this councillor..
The Parish Council as a body can object but it seems odd that an individual Councillor is opposing it on the Council website
Planning is a nightmare as were all objections accepted I don’t think we’d build another house in this country ever again
Quite often Councillors showboat against applications knowing they can’t win and costing the public £1000’s
Forgive me but I don't understand where there is a conflict of interest.  I understand that you don't like the position the councillor has taken on the application and you are entitled to be disappointed.  But unless I've missed something (and apologies if I have) then disagreement does not represent conflict of interest.
Thank you John.I didn't say he has represented conflict of interest.I wanted to know if he has?, when he has taken thier side,visitied thier property and then put an objection on the council website.According to my understanding  if he is on a planning committee,he should not be taking sides.He can clearly say there are concerns from neighbours and we need to address it before  the planning decision is made..I am just trying  to understand this whole process.Thank you for your reply.
It makes no difference if he is on the planning committee as long as once he has expressed an opinion he’s takes no part in the decision making process
If he calls the decision in he can present his case against at the planning meeting when the application is heard this happens all the while
0 votes
This is one of the cases where the Nolan principles come into play and involve councillor integrity. Firstly comments made by PC or individuals must be based on planning principles & law and NOT on personal opinion or taste. If a councillor is part of a planning committee then it is not professional to let their comments be made or published prior to the meeting of the Committee or PC to formulate the PC' response. If indeed they object or support then it is at this point that they can express their input on the matter ( support OR oppose). It is not allowable for their opinion to be made public prior to the council's decision. It is at this point that they are free to make their position public ( by posting their objection on the planning site ) Councillors are supposed to meet the decision making process of council with an impartial and unbiased position and a position of integrity regarding the discussion and decision making process. If they cannot then as stated they should withdraw from that process.
Integrity. Something that is sadly lacking in this country today from the top down.
by (27.0k points)
Thank you.I need some time to understand all these.But as a layman what i was thinking was if the councillor wanted to oppose it,he should have done it in such a way that he himself or the parish is not happy,but when he says i have visited the property and i see that the residents will  have issues.I felt he was taking thier side and objecting.Which i felt very disappointing.Any ways the planners  have already taken 9 months and the wait is still on.Thank you for all your replies .
Mentorman the issue is complicated because of the dual  Parish and Borough roles

Were it to be considered a breech of the Nolan principles to oppose planning issues without a proper basis I can think of a lot of Borough Councillors who’d be in trouble
Is the the councillor on planning of the ward or on the parish council’s planning
Committee if he is on the ward planning should he not have a other registerable interest this would stop him from discussing or voting in parish council meetings
And I think he should not be make predetermined decisions
He is ward and parish councillor both.But he is on Parish planning committe but not on boroughs building planning committe.Thats what i felt he should have expressed interest on the register.
 Now i have seen that in Aug 2022 parish letter said they didnt have objection ,now i see in December  they have come back to say they have concerns that its close to neighbours property.I think its his objection which has come there  as on the other side  we have objection for trees,which has not come up on the parish letter...I dnt know how to proceed with this,because of this its taking for ever to get planning...Thank you for your  reply.
As a parish council you can only make recommendations to the District planning Committee, which are likely to be ignored.
The fact that the PC planning committee has changed their minds,  only means the first time they looked at it nobody objected.

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