Scheme of Delegation

The Scheme of Delegation is the set of rules which determines whether a planning application will be decided by the Planning and Development Committee or by planning officers under the delegated powers given to them by the council.

The borough council regularly revises arrangements for dealing with planning applications with a view to increasing the number of applications dealt with by officers in accordance with Government guidelines and targets.  The Scheme of Delegation set out here is effective from 10 September 2012.

Under the current Scheme of Delegation approximately 90% of applications will be decided by planning officers, with the remaining cases decided by a committee of Councillors which meets every three weeks.  A schedule of committee dates is available from the planning committee meetings page.

How the scheme works

When an application is registered, an initial, provisional designation, is attached to each application as to whether it is likely to be decided by a planning committee (COM) or under the scheme of delegation (DEL).  This and other details of planning applications are published online. 

During the processing of the application by the planning officer, it may be that this initial designation will change.  A decision on whether the application will be decided by officers or the committee will normally be made approximately two weeks after the application is registered, however this may be subject to change as the application progresses.

Most applications have to be decided within eight weeks of registration.  For a delegated application, the officer will write a report on the application within this eight week period.  The report will contain a recommendation for either approval (with or without conditions) or a refusal (with reasons).  The officer report will be considered by the area planning Mmanager who authorises the final decision.  Once a decision has been made a decision notice will be issued.  The decision notice and officer report will then be able to be viewed via the Public Access system.

For an application going to committee the officer prepares a similar report which is made public five working days before the Committee and can be viewed on the planning committee meetings page.

Commenting on planning applications 

Comments on applications should be put in writing to the case officer, who will take them into account when assessing the application.  Comments can also be submitted via the Public Access system.
 
Where an application is considered by the committee, the public and councillors who are not on the committee can speak under the public speaking scheme.  This must be arranged at least two working days before the committee.  

The Scheme of Delegation

All planning and similar or related types of applications and prior notifications are delegated to the Planning Services Manager except for the following categories:
 
  • Applications submitted by, or on behalf of the Council, except for applications for development within the curtilage of a dwelling house
  • Applications on council owned land, where the Council is not the applicant, where significant objections are received during the consultation process which the Head of Service determines should be subject to Members' consideration.
  • Applications submitted by or on behalf of Members or employees of the Council or their spouses.
  • The revocation or modification of planning (or similar) permission without compensation by the Council.
  • Applications for planning or related permissions which constitute significant development as defined below:
    • development of 5 or more new build residential unitsthe conversion of a residential property or change of use of a non-residential property to 10 or more units
    • residential development on a site of 0.5 hectare or more
    • any type of non-residential development of 1000 sq m or 3000 sq m in the case of B1 to B8 (business) uses
    • applications relating to Grade I or II* Listed Buildings where the building is in the Council's ownership, or in any case where an objection has been received from English Heritage or a National Amenity Society or in some cases if any other significant objections are raised (following consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair).
    • The complete demolition of any listed building free standing chimneys, towers or masts or similar structures, higher than 15 m
  • Applications where the recommendation is contrary to the Development Plan
  • Applications that require referral to the Secretary of State
  • Applications accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment
  • The confirmation of opposed Tree Preservation Orders
  • Any application to amend the application or vary conditions previously decided/imposed by committee, which in the view of the Head of Service, constitute a major or significant change.
  • Any other application which in the view of the Head of Service should be considered by committee.

NB: 'Planning' application means applications for planning permission, listed building consent, conservation consent, prior notification procedures, advertisement consent, hedgerow regulations, tree preservation orders and similar/related applications.

Reference to 1000 or 3000 sq m means floorspace.

For further information on making  planning applications please go to the Planning Services home page or visit the Planning Portal or iApply websites.