Question from: County Councillor Stephen Hayes Subject: Notification to ward members of changes to planning applications between submission and determination
Thank you for your response to my question of 12th January.
However, I am afraid you have not answered the specific question which relates to notifying ward members.
It is neither realistic nor acceptable that ward members should be expected to check the progress of every planning application in their ward on the planning register on a regular basis, in case some alteration may have been made. The time which can elapse before applications are determined often extends over many months.
Ward members are consultees on applications in their ward and as such, the onus is on the planning authority to consult them when material changes are made to applications.
Will you confirm that the authority will, as a matter of course, notify ward members accordingly thus allowing them the opportunity to review or add to their original comments?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
Thank you for your additional question. Publicity and consultation requirements for planning applications are set out in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012, as amended. The requirement for additional publicity and consultation during the determination of a planning application is discretionary, as explained in Welsh Government’s Development Management Manual:
“8.2.10 It is at the LPAs discretion as to whether they should undertake an additional publicity exercise if an application is amended, or additional information is submitted once the publicity and consultation periods have passed but the application has not been determined.
8.2.11 If further consultation is deemed to be required by an LPA, they must make a judgement on what publicity requirements are sufficient. For example, it may be appropriate to undertake a consultation exercise that encompasses a press release, neighbour notification and site notices, or if the amendment is minor, neighbour notification could be sufficient.”
Members are notified of planning applications within their wards once a planning application has been validated as part of the consultation and publicity procedures. Should a planning officer decide during the determination of a planning application that a full re-consultation is required, which would be subject to an agreed extension of time with the applicant, I can confirm that the local Member will be re-consulted as part of this.
As previously explained, the planned website improvements will include an automatic notification system for Members, or anyone else, who decides to register, and I will press the Service to bring this forward as quickly as possible. This facility is intended to provide update notifications where new information is received and would be in addition to the consultation and publicity arrangements.