Helping the planners get it right first time
8:00am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Letters
THERE have been a number of recent appeal cases where the council has found it difficult to defend decisions taken by planning committee, and indeed where costs have been awarded against the council.
Whilst any decision on an application will rest with members of the planning committee, those members have to take full account of all material factors as provided in reports to committee when making decisions.
On occasions this makes decisions to refuse planning permission extremely difficult to defend, and unfortunately this is sometimes the case irrespective of the strength of feeling of local communities, especially when national and local policies seek to support particular developments or where previous planning decisions have already been taken.
The council currently has a programme for development and training of planning committee members, and as chairman since May, I will be working with officers in developing the future programme.
A key issue to be considered at the earliest opportunity will relate to how the appeal process works, particularly in regard to weighing up all material factors so that we can do our utmost to take decisions which are sound and defensible on appeal.
Cllr Fred Johnson
Vale Council planning committee