Statement of Community Involvement revision 2019

Statment of Community Involvement update 2019

3 Planning Applications

3    Planning  Applications

 This section of the Statement of Community Involvement explains the council’s policy for notifying residents and consulting statutory consultees in the consideration of planning applications. At each stage we will, if requested, provide alternative formats and methods of contacting the council as appropriate.

The planning pages of the Council’s website set out detailed information about how to submit and comment on planning applications and appeals. You can obtain help accessing the council’s planning web pages at your local council library or by calling 01275 888 811.

The Government has produced a Plain English Guide to the planning system and we have prepared guidance on our website about the process of an application within North Somerset.


We strongly encourage applicants to discuss their proposals with local people adjoining the development site, the relevant town or parish council and their North Somerset councillor at an early stage before they submit their planning application.

Pre-application requests are normally confidential and are not routinely publicised on the council website.


Once a valid application is received we will consider if notification is required in accordance with government regulations[1]. If notification

is required we will do so by either erecting a site notice on or near the application site

or by posting notification letters. In some cases we will do both.

When posting notification letters we will send a letter them to those neighbours whose properties directly adjoin the application site. and to other neighbours that we consider will be directly affected by the application . We also provide an automated email notification system which residents can sign up for if they want to receive an email notification about new applications in their local area.

When we first notify neighbours we allow 28 days the time set by the government for comments to be submitted to us. This is a week longer than the statutory consultation period of 21 days and takes into account the time it takes for applications to appear on the council’s website. This is normally 21 days, but can be shorter for certain types of proposal.

We will not reply individually to comments received about current applications. All comments about planning applications that are received within the consultation period are read and taken into account considered. Whilst we may consider comments that are received after the consultation period has ended, we cannot guarantee to do so. The best way to ensure comments are fully considered is to submit them before the deadline for comments expire.

 Comments can be submitted electronically via our website or by post. Comments sent by any other method without prior agreement, including by email, will not be considered.

 We do not accept responsibility for and cannot take into account  consider  comments that fail to reach us in time because they have been delayed or lost in the postal system. For this reason we strongly recommend that comments are submitted online via our website.

Only comments that are made on valid planning grounds (also known as “material considerations”) can be given weight when making our decision. A list of common material considerations can be found on the Government’s Planning Portal website.

 Anyone can make comments on current applications regardless of whether they have been formally consulted or not.

All comments form part of the planning file and are normally placed on the council’s website for viewing via the internet. It is important to remember this when submitting

comments as you will be legally responsible for their content. You must not submit any comments which are offensive or which might give rise to legal proceedings against you, for example, if they are racist, sexist, homophobic or defamatory, or discriminatory in any way.

After the period for appeals to be made has passed Once the decision is made we remove comments made by the general public. This is done seven months after the application is decided. This complies with the Data Protection Act which requires us not to keep personal information longer than is necessary. from our website to protect people’s personal data as required by the General Data Protection Regulations.

We explain our approach to data protection and equality on our website.

Statutory consultees

When determining planning applications we consult all statutory consultees, such as the Environment Agency, English Heritage Historic England, and relevant town and parish councils, in accordance with regulations prescribed by Government. Statutory consultees should send their comments to us as prescribed in the consultation documents.

Internal advice

Internal professional advice may also be sought from our own officers within the council who have expertise in construction, conservation/ heritage, design, trees, landscape design, noise, pollution, licensing, drainage, transport, and legal matters. This advice is part of our deliberations and is not normally made public until after the decision is made.


It is common for submitted applications to be changed during the process of determination. These changes may be a result of negotiation with the case officer, or following comments from consultees, or objections from local residents. We provide advice about how to submit amendments on our website.

If amended details are received we will re- consult on proposals where, as a result of because of the amendment, we consider that there is likely to be a significantly greater detrimental impact, for example, on the occupants of adjoining properties. Where the application is likely to be refused permission, regardless of the amendment, we will not normally re-consult.

Depending on the scale and nature of the amendments any re-consultation undertaken will normally be for 14 days and will normally only be carried out with those neighbours and/or consultees who we consider are immediately affected by the proposed amendments. On occasions, a shorter period of consultation may be used for amended plans.

Public speaking

Where an application is to be determined by the Planning and Regulatory Committee an opportunity is provided for members of the public to address the committee. The opportunity to speak is limited to one person to speak for the application (e.g. the applicant or supporters of the application) and one person to speak against the application (e.g. objectors to the application)

Both speakers are allowed to speak for a limited time (currently three minutes). Details of how to request to speak at a planning committee meeting and the associated rules can be found on our website.

After the decision is reached

Besides writing to the applicant we also notify people of our planning application decision by placing a copy of the decision notice on our website along with a copy of the officer’s report. Copies of decisions and officer reports are also sent to the relevant parish or town council.


Only applicants have the right of appeal. There are no third party rights of appeal. The appeal process is managed by the independent Planning Inspectorate. Full details of all appeal rules and procedures can be found by visiting the Planning Portal website at

 How to contact us about planning applications or appeals

We operate a web based contact system. You can submit comments on planning applications at:

For further queries or help visit: or call the planning service on 01275 888 811



[1] The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (as amended)