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Statutory Consultees

 

Bleadon Parish Council has repeatedly stated that it is a Statutory Consultee, so what is a Statutory Consultee and what are their duties and responsibilities?

 

The following extracts are from the Government's Consultation and pre-decision matters guidance, which "sets out the process for efficient and inclusive consultation of planning applications".

 

Who are the statutory consultees and why have they been designated?

Paragraph: 009 Reference ID: 15-009-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019

"Planning law prescribes circumstances where local planning authorities are required to consult specified bodies prior to a decision being made on an application. "

 

North Somerset Council consults Bleadon Parish Council (e.g. via its weekly list). BPC should theoretically consult residents e.g. via its agenda/minutes, newsletter, public meetings. 

Will a parish council or a Neighbourhood Forum be informed of planning applications in their area?

Paragraph: 006 Reference ID: 15-006-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019

"The circumstances in which local planning authorities must notify a parish council or a Neighbourhood Forum are set out in Schedule 1, paragraph 8, of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and article 25 and 25A of the Development Management Procedure Order"

 

"Where a parish council or Neighbourhood Forum is notified of a planning application, they must make any representations within 21 days." 

What should local planning authorities expect from a statutory consultee in terms of a response?

Paragraph: 015 Reference ID: 15-015-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019 

"When consulted in the circumstances set out in Article 22 of the Development Management Procedure Order, consultees are under a duty to provide a “substantive response” (as defined in that Article). Local planning authorities must provide such consultees with the information that will enable them to provide a substantive response.

 

The substantive response will need to include reasons for the consultee’s views so that where these views have informed a subsequent decision made by a local planning authority the decision is transparent. A holding reply would not be acceptable as a substantive response." 

Will further consultation take place after an application is amended?

Paragraph: 026 Reference ID: 15-026-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019 

An application can be amended after it has been submitted. Guidance on the procedures involved in doing so is set out in ‘making an application’. Where an application has been amended it is up to the local planning authority to decide whether further publicity and consultation is necessary in the interests of fairness. In deciding what further steps may be required local planning authorities should consider whether, without re-consultation, any of those who were entitled to be consulted on the application would be deprived of the opportunity to make any representations that they may have wanted to make on the application as amended. Where the local planning authority decides that it is necessary to re-consult a body which is under a duty to provide a substantive response the timescales in paragraph 011 will apply.  

Is it possible for the statutory consultee to negotiate an extension to the deadline for representations?

Paragraph: 017 Reference ID: 15-017-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019 

It is important for statutory consultees to do all they can to meet the deadline for representations. It should not usually be necessary for an extension to be proposed. Extensions of time which are negotiated between the statutory consultee and the local planning authority will not affect the applicant’s right to appeal against non-determination. In considering whether to agree to any proposed extension, local planning authorities will therefore need to consider the views of the applicant and the likely impact on the overall time taken to reach a decision.  

Are statutory consultees accountable for their performance as a consultee on planning applications?

Paragraph: 018 Reference ID: 15-018-20190722 Revision date: 23 07 2019  

Article 23 of the Development Management Procedure Order provides that statutory consultees who are under a duty to provide a substantive response must provide an annual report on their performance in providing such responses within the 21 day period or longer agreed period, and a summary of the reasons why they failed to comply with the duty to respond within the relevant timescale.

 

The reports need to be sent to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government each year. Statutory consultees are encouraged to publish the reports on their websites. 

So, should Bleadon Parish Council be responding to all planning applications with a considered response, and if not why not? Should councillors be asking for extensions, and if so under what conditions? Should BPC be publishing a performance report, and if so where is it?

 

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See also BOB's Public Representation page.