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Is it unlawful for a councillor to unilaterally submit a pre-planning application?

0 votes

The land in question is owned by the parish council and is a public open space.

The councillor has previously declared a financial interest (DPI) in the development site which is next to the PC’s land.

The pre-planning application stated that an access abutting the development was “the parish council’s preferred proposal”.

The application had not been discussed or agreed with councillors prior to being submitted to the district council.

asked by (240 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Any person can submit a pre-planning application even if they don’t own the land.

it is often done as an enquiry before purchasing property if a different use is proposed.

The interest declared is not on the site where the pre planning advice was sort for but as you state in the land next door therefore not relevant
answered by (1.7k points)
0 votes
Any body is free to submit a Planning application or a  pre Planning application to a planning authority. The purpose of a pre Planning application is to seek a view as to whether planning consent would be needed, and the likelihood of it being granted, for  a proposed development.   Such enquiries are open to everybody to make, and are often treated as confidential by Planning Authorities.
answered by (14.7k points)
It wasn't a personal application.  Therefore, it is surprising that an individual councillor can submit a document from a parish council, representing the views of a parish council in that document, without prior discussion or agreement with, and approval of, other councillors.
The planning authority are not be expected to ask applicants to verify that all enquiries they receive meet the S.O.s or any other legislative requirements/procedures of any organisations they apply on behalf of.  It seems from the additional information you have given that the Cllr has been in breach of their Council's standing orders by his action in this instance.
Parish councillors are also members of the community but in their position must do everything to ensure that everyone is clear regarding their own opinions not being misunderstood or interpreted as those of the council. Should such an application come before the council for their comments then the professional course of action would be for the councillor to take no part in discussion or forming of council reaction to the application
This is a pre application enquiry, not an actual application. The Cllr who submitted it has probably gone against his/her PC's standing orders.  However, the application proper should be submitted by the Clerk if Council resolves that to happen. In that instance the Cllr who submitted the pre application enquiry would be entitled to express their view.  Only the collective view or resolution is passed on to the Planning authority.
0 votes
Every house that surrounds a planning application has a pecuniary interest And also those on the consultation list but obviously not everyone sits on the council

It needs to be  made clear that because they have a declared interest In the field next door It does not mean that they have a declarable interest in your parish council land
answered by (1.7k points)
edited by

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