Making a decision
What happens at the
Regulatory Committee meeting
Site visits by
Other people at the
When and where are the
What happens after the
Discussions are welcomed before an
application is made so as to encourage high quality applications
and to ensure they can be dealt with as efficiently as possible. An
officer, or a member of the Planning Support team , is available
during office hours to assist with the completion of application
forms. If you wish to make an appointment with a Planning Officer,
this should be direct with the officer so that you can explain your
proposals and you can get an initial reaction. The advice
given at all times is without prejudice to the ultimate decision on
any formal application.
Once the Council has received your
planning application, it is checked to ensure all the correct
forms, certificates and plans have been submitted. If your
application is complete, it should normally be registered
within 5 working days. If it is incomplete or invalid, you (or
your agent if you are using one) will normally be sent a letter
saying what additional information is required, again normally
within 5 working days.
Once the application is registered
you, or your agent, will be sent an acknowledgement
letter. This letter will also tell you about Extensions of
Whilst the Council will make every
effort to deal with your application within the target period of 8
weeks it cannot be guaranteed, as will be explained later. The
law says that we can agree to an extension of the time in which to
deal with the application.
The letter will tell you that unless
you tell us to the contrary then we will assume that you are
agreeable to an extension of time. The letter says also that if you
inform the Council that you do not agree then at the end of 8 weeks
if a decision has not been made then it is deemed to have been
refused and you may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
Once the application is registered
and valid a Case Officer is allocated to the application and the
letter acknowledging receipt of your application will tell
- The name of the case officer
- The case officer's direct dial phone number
- The case officer's e-mail address
The Case Officer is responsible for
the professional appraisal of the application and the preparation
of a report including a recommendation for decision. The Case
Officer can provide details of the progress of the
The application is recorded in the
planning register that the Council is required to keep and make
available for inspection. A weekly list of applications received is
sent to the local press, District Councillors, amenity societies.
Copies of the application are put on public view at the Council
Offices at Codsall or via www.sstaffs.gov.uk/planningfiles
To view recent weekly lists go to
to the terms and conditions. When the system loads simply
click on 'weekly list' in the menu on the left.
Some applications are advertised in
the local press and by site notices if they affect a listed
building, the character of a conservation area, involve demolition
in a conservation area, depart from the Council's Local Plan, have
a substantial impact on an area or if they affect a public right of
way. Notification letters are also sent to immediate
neighbours. Copies of the applications are sent to Parish
Councils and to other bodies such as County Highways, Environment
Agency, Severn Trent Water and many others, for their
The Case Officer will visit the site
to make a site inspection within the first few weeks following
registration. If access cannot be obtained when the visit is made
he/she will leave a card asking you to contact him/her to make an
appointment to enable the Officer to view the proposed
If as a result of the site visit,
the result of replies to consultations or from the Case Officer's
consideration of the application difficulties arise that can be
overcome by amendments then we will contact you, or your agent, to
discuss amendments to the application.
The Government expects the Council
to deal with most applications within 8 weeks. Simple proposals can
be processed fairly quickly, but more complex or controversial
applications can take longer. Every effort is made to negotiate an
acceptable scheme. If amended plans are required to overcome
certain concerns or deficiencies, suggestions will be made.
It may be that such amendments
require the submission of a revised application. If revised plans
are submitted then it may be necessary to re-consult
people. It is the Council's firm view that it is better to try
to overcome difficulties and to negotiate with applicants, even
though this may take longer, than to make quick decisions, which
may be refusals, simply to stay within the Government's
When the Case Officer has finished
the consideration of the application a report and recommendation is
prepared and given to the Development Control Manager for a
decision to be made.
Decisions can either be delegated,
whereby the Development Control Manager will make the
decision, or they will be put to the Regulatory Committee for its
decision. An application cannot be decided as a delegated decision
- A Councillor requests that the application be considered
by Committee or
- The decision would be contrary to policy
The Committee then has to consider
the application and vote in order to reach a decision.
Decisions made by
the Development Control Manager under Delegated powers
can be viewed by going to PublicAccess
In either case a decision will
either be to grant planning permission, with or without conditions,
or refuse it. Reasons have to be given for the conditions or for
refusal. These are included on the decision notice, which is sent
to the applicant, or the agent, after a decision has been made. A
record of all decisions is put in the planning register. All
consultees, the Parish Council and anyone who made comments is
informed of the decision.
What happens at the
Regulatory Committee meeting
The Regulatory Committee is made up
of all the Councillors.
After dealing with the minutes of
the previous meeting, they go on to consider the planning
Each planning application to be
dealt with is listed on the agenda section and there is a report
summarising the background of each application, its history and the
comments of neighbours and anyone else interested in the proposal,
the comments of the Head of Development and Building Control and a
Although it may seem that some
applications are dealt with quickly at the meeting, a lot of
background work has gone on beforehand.
Before the meeting, the Chairman and
Vice-Chairman goes through the applications and other reports with
the Development Control Manager. In addition, local Councillors may
have visited the application site.
At the meeting the committee members
discuss each report in turn, asking the technical and legal
officers for advice if necessary. They then vote.
Normally a decision to approve, with
or without conditions, or to refuse is made there and then but
occasionally it may be deferred. This sometimes happens if
Councillors want more information about a proposal, or if they want
to have a formal site visit themselves. In this case the
application will usually be decided at the next meeting of the
Committee, 3 weeks later.
Occasionally, an application is
withdrawn from the meeting; this will be announced by the
If there are any confidential
matters to be discussed then at the end of the meeting the
Committee may pass a resolution requiring members of the public and
the press to leave so that the Councillors may discuss any
You can view the Regulatory
Committee agenda, reports and recommendations and minutes by going
to Regulatory Committee
Site visits by councillors
If Councillors want to look further
at a particular proposal, particularly if it is controversial, a
decision will sometimes be deferred for a site visit by the members
of the Committee.
If your application is affected then
we will write to you telling you of the date and time of the site
The site visit will be attended by
several councillors, plus officers from the Development Control
Section and if necessary officers from the Conservation,
Environmental Health, or Highways.
The meeting on site gives
Councillors an opportunity to look at the whole site and the
issues, and for the proposals to be explained to them by the
officers. Interested parties - including the applicant and
objectors - can speak at the discretion of the Chairman.
The site visits usually take place
during the day of the next scheduled Committee meeting. The
recommendation is then referred back to that meeting of the
Committee for a decision to be made.
Other people at the
The Council's technical and legal
officers may also attend the Committee meeting to give the
councillor's advice. A committee clerk takes the minutes.
As a member of the public you are
welcome to attend the meeting to observe the proceedings.
introducing Public Speaking at Regulatory Committee was
introduced on 13th July 2010 (Public Speaking at
Planning Committees - A protocol)
(Public Speaking at Regulatory
You can of course speak to one of
your Ward Councillors or Parish Councillors about the application
or issue you are interested in before the meeting, so that he or
she could put forward your point of view to the Committee.
When and where are the meetings
and reports of the Regulatory Committee
are always available
online, or at the Council Offices 5 working days before the
meeting; copies are also sent to all Parish Clerks. Spare copies
are available in the Council Chamber before the
the Regulatory Committee
take place every 3 weeks and the dates
are shown by going to Regulatory Committee Dates.
Committee meetings are held in the
Council Chamber of the Council Offices at Codsall at 6.30pm on
Tuesdays on the dates as shown.
What happens after
After the meeting the decision
notices are prepared and attached to the application plans. Any
decisions that are subject to legal agreements being made are held
back until the legal work has been completed. The decision notices
are sent out as soon as possible and usually within about 3 days
after the Committee.
The same thing happens with
decisions made under delegated powers.
All consultees, Parish Councils and
anyone who sent in comments are informed of the decision. A
copy of the decision, and any agreements, is put in the
Diary of meetings