How the Parish Council is involved in the planning process.
The Parish Council has no executive powers in deciding planning applications - this is the prerogative of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) which is the Planning Authority. However, it is mandatory for BDBC to consult the Parish Council on all applications in its area. The Parish Council can then comment as it sees fit on any application; although the Planning Authority can disregard these comments if it considers them to be inappropriate. However, what the Parish Council can bring to the planning process is local knowledge, which can help the planning officer when determining the application.
So that the Parish Council can make an informed response to BDBC, once an application is received all Clllrs are advised so they can look at the application in detail, together with the site plans, elevations, block plans, design statement etc.
At the following Parish Council meeting, Cllrs will consider all aspects of the application, including its position in relation to the existing and neighbouring buildings, its design, whether it creates a loss of privacy or light to nearby properties, its appearance in the streetscene, whether it affects local drainage or parking, and the overall needs and requirements of the parish.
The Parish Council is completely objective and any Cllr who lives close to an application site or has any links with the applicant is not allowed to comment on it, as they may have either a personal or prejudicial interest in the outcome of the application. Cllrs take planning applications very seriously and objections are not made without good cause, and should be grounded in planning law. They do not arbitrarily object to an application; an objection will only be made if the Cllrs believe there is a justifiable reason for the objection.
Once the Parish Council has decided its response, the Clerk sends that response to the relevant case officer at BDBC. Over 90% of applications are determined by the case officers. There are occasions though, if an application is contentious, when the case officer might refer the application to the Planning Committee. This means that the case officer will recommend a decision but the application will be determined by a Committee at BDBC, made up of Borough Cllrs, who meet once a month. They will consider all the representations made by both statutory consultees and local residents and will then vote on whether to grant permission or not.
CONSERVATION AREA. Much of Ecchinswell is designated as a Conservation Area. This is defined in law as "an area of special architectural or historical interest the character of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance". If you own a property in the Conservation Area you will need to apply for permission or give notification before you carry out certain work on your property, or to surrounding trees. This work includes any demolition, new development, change of use, advertisements or work to listed buildings.
Click here to go to the Local Council Planning Portal and select the Parish name from the list to show the applications.