Must preparation committees follow officers’ advice in reaching decisions?

Must preparation committees follow officers’ advice in reaching decisions?

  • Cassie Barton
  • Gabrielle Garton Grimwood

This briefing examines the connection between planning officers and councillors and just how published guidance discounts aided by the factors that may arise when preparing committees overturn officers’ advice. It pertains to England just.

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Must planning committees follow officers’ advice in reaching decisions? (382 KB, PDF)

Debate sometimes arises whenever planning committees, consists of elected regional authority members, just take decisions on preparation applications that get up against the advice of preparation officers.

Who takes decisions that are planning?

Applications for preparing authorization are submitted to and considered because of the regional preparation authority (LPA). Applications are managed by preparing officers, to who councillors delegate many decisions. The biggest and a lot of contentious applications, though, should be considered by the preparing committee.

Do officers need certainly to make a recommendation?

Neighborhood authorities need guidelines regarding the roles of councillors and officers, that ought to adapt to the good training on planning decision-making laid straight down in the help guide to probity in planning councillors and officers, posted by the town Association (LGA) therefore the preparing Advisory provider (PAS). That guide claims (amongst other items) that officer reports to committee should suggest the choice to be produced.

Overturning the advice of officers

In instances where councillors overturn the advice of officers, reasons need to be provided. The LGA/PAS help guide to probity in planning councillors and officers shows that councillors must certanly be prepared to explain why they’ve maybe not accepted the officer’s recommendation and that officers must be offered a chance to explain such a decision’s implications, including those for almost any appeal and prize of expenses.

Rejection of applications by councillors

The disappointed applicant has the right of administrative appeal to a planning inspector in this scenario. The appeal are going to be heard based on the nationwide and planning policy guidance that is local. Then a rejection by councillors is more likely to lead to the council losing the appeal if the officers made a recommendation based on the planning policy guidance. In certain circumstances, expenses could be granted up against the council, especially if there is “unreasonable behaviour”. The preparing Practice assistance with appeals provides a definition of unreasonable behavior when you look at the context of award of costs.

Research by the home experts Lichfields found that, for large housing applications in England, Wales and Scotland, refusals against officers’ recommendations had been much more likely than refusals in accordance with officers’ recommendations to be overturned at appeal.

Approval of applications by councillors

There is absolutely no analogous right of appeal for 3rd events whenever preparation applications are authorized in circumstances as opposed to policy that is national recommendations. The Secretary of State comes with specific abilities to revoke or modify permission that is planning however these capabilities are employed sparingly and just when you look at the most exemplary cases.

Exactly how gets the place of councillors changed?

With time, the role councillors can play in determining preparation applications changed.

There’s been a rise in the application of delegation; the newest numbers from MHCLG show that, when it comes to 12 months closing March 2019, 94percent of preparation applications in England had been delegated to officers. Changes towards the rules on pre-determination introduced by the Localism Act 2011 enabled councillors to talk or vote on a planning application upon which that they had formerly expressed or campaigned a view.

  • The Commons Library briefing Comparison of this preparation systems when you look at the four UK nations: 2016 change provides details about preparing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Other Commons Library briefings on different issues related to preparation can be obtained regarding the topic page for housing and preparation

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