Update on changes to Planning Procedure at Harborough District Council:
Following the full Council meeting held on Monday 30th July 2018, major changes to the way in which both the public and Parish Authorities register their objections to planning applications within their respective areas, were passed and have become effective immediately.
In brief the changes are as below:
1. The current system of 7 letters of objection to an application triggering automatic referral to the Planning Committee no longer applies, any person or authority that wishes to register an objection (or letter of support) should make contact with their Ward Councillor, outlining their reasons for objection or support. The Councillor will then compile a list of the reasons for objection or support and bring those to the attention of the Case Officer for that application, and also to a briefing panel, comprising of, amongst others, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Committee, a decision will be taken as to the validity of the comments being sound reasons within the definition of the NPPF, and if considered valid then the Councillor will 'call in' the application for consideration by the Planning Committee.
Of paramount importance to this is the timescale that has been implemented, the 'call in' MUST be submitted within 28 days of the application being published on the weekly list.
2. The current trigger of 10 or more properties on an application being listed for the Planning Committee has been increased to 25 or more, the commercial floor space has been left unchanged.
3. The policy of allowing unlimited speakers at the Planning Committee has been changed to 3 speakers in favour, 3 objectors, Parish Council and Parish Meeting speakers are additional to the 3+3, as is the Ward Councillor should they wish to speak.
Clearly there will be a need for large groups of objectors or supporters getting themselves sorted out so they can present 3 speakers who can put across their viewpoints within the allotted time of 3 minutes each.
Whilst some of these changes will not please everyone, it is apparent that the Planning Committee are massively overwhelmed with applications, and the system needed reform, these reforms have been over a decade in working through various issues that required lengthy debate and deliberation by the Committee tasked with this work.
For further information on all matters relating to planning please refer to the Harborough District Council website: