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The Councillor’s role in decision making Presenter date www.pas.gov.uk
Before we start…
The Planning Advisory Service <ul><li>Self-sustaining </li></ul><ul><li>Better planning </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement </li...
The modules <ul><li>PAS has produced a series of modules to brief Councillors on some of the key aspects of modern plannin...
The modules <ul><li>Introduction to planning </li></ul><ul><li>Probity in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Councillors role in d...
Aim of today’s session Understanding the decision making process Deciding how Councillors should become involved in decisi...
The context for decision making <ul><li>Development requires planning permission </li></ul><ul><li>Government, some agenci...
Who makes the decisions? <ul><li>major contentious development is often dealt with by Government, not by Local Authorities...
The Councillor’s role <ul><li>What is a Councillor’s role in the assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>In some Councils, all appli...
Role of officers <ul><ul><li>fees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>registering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>notifying </li></ul></...
Committee decisions <ul><li>this process is where your costs build up </li></ul><ul><li>there is extra cost in taking an a...
Delegation  <ul><li>delegation is not intended to change the outcome of a decision on an application </li></ul><ul><li>del...
Determining an application at committee <ul><li>What needs to be presented to committee? </li></ul><ul><li>How much weight...
The Development Plan <ul><li>Section 38 of the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ If regard is t...
The national context
The Development Plan
The Planning Reform Agenda Community Right to Build Neighbourhood Plans Local Plans National Policy Incentives Planning de...
Material considerations <ul><li>EXERCISE </li></ul><ul><li>What considerations should be taken into account in the determi...
Non material considerations <ul><li>EXERCISE </li></ul><ul><li>What considerations should NOT be taken into account in the...
Councillor conduct and role <ul><li>1) As a Ward Councillor…  </li></ul><ul><li>… you can support or oppose an application...
Development Management <ul><li>Concentrates on delivery – not control </li></ul><ul><li>Puts spatial planning plans into a...
Pre-application discussions <ul><li>Benefit both parties </li></ul><ul><li>Councillor role as champion </li></ul><ul><li>P...
Site visits <ul><li>Take a consistent approach </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about when a visit is justified </li></ul><ul><l...
Meetings <ul><ul><li>maintain an impartial role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>listen to different viewpoints </li></ul></ul><...
The decision <ul><li>Open to appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial Review </li></ul><ul><li>Ombudsman ...
Regular review of decisions <ul><ul><li>Impact of decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and consistency of decision...
Exercise - How does your delegation scheme work? <ul><li>Look at your delegation scheme </li></ul>
Exercise - Points to consider <ul><li>summary </li></ul><ul><li>do you achieve the 90%+ delegated decision target? </li></...
Taking stock <ul><li>do you have any concerns about any ideas we have just considered? </li></ul><ul><li>a good delegation...
Issues to consider  1 <ul><li>constitutional arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>categories of development in scheme </li></ul>...
Issues to consider  2 <ul><ul><li>Committee referrals – member requests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>notice of applicati...
Issues to consider  3 <ul><li>committee referrals – consultation replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>statutory consultees views ...
Issues to consider  4 <ul><li>committee referrals – consultation replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not necessarily </li></ul><...
Issues to consider  5 <ul><ul><li>Transparent + open decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scheme needs to be sensitive <...
Summary <ul><li>Better understanding of the decision making process? </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of the role of...
Contact PAS email  [email_address] web  www.pas.gov.uk phone  020 7664 3000
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Pas councillor training decision making - presentation with notes

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Pas councillor training decision making - presentation with notes

  1. 1. The Councillor’s role in decision making Presenter date www.pas.gov.uk
  2. 2. Before we start…
  3. 3. The Planning Advisory Service <ul><li>Self-sustaining </li></ul><ul><li>Better planning </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>… of…with …and for the sector </li></ul>
  4. 4. The modules <ul><li>PAS has produced a series of modules to brief Councillors on some of the key aspects of modern planning </li></ul><ul><li>Other modules : </li></ul><ul><li>expand upon key themes </li></ul><ul><li>provide specialist advice </li></ul><ul><li>Self serve or use as a study aide </li></ul><ul><li>PAS can present them for you </li></ul>
  5. 5. The modules <ul><li>Introduction to planning </li></ul><ul><li>Probity in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Councillors role in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Development management </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Localism and neighbourhood plans </li></ul>
  6. 6. Aim of today’s session Understanding the decision making process Deciding how Councillors should become involved in decision making How to make good decisions
  7. 7. The context for decision making <ul><li>Development requires planning permission </li></ul><ul><li>Government, some agencies + local authorities can grant or refuse permission </li></ul><ul><li>The rules and power for local authorities to grant permission is given by Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Some development is permitted by order of Parliament – “permitted development </li></ul>
  8. 8. Who makes the decisions? <ul><li>major contentious development is often dealt with by Government, not by Local Authorities </li></ul><ul><li>about 600,000 planning applications are dealt with each year. Do they all need to be? </li></ul><ul><li>each involves an assessment of the impact of the proposal – material considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of permitted development and Local Development Orders </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Councillor’s role <ul><li>What is a Councillor’s role in the assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>In some Councils, all applications can be dealt with by officers! </li></ul><ul><li>… but Councillors still determine the Development Plan and set the rules! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Role of officers <ul><ul><li>fees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>registering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>notifying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consulting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>checking applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>considering all points raised from consulting/notifying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>amendments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deciding whether to negotiate to overcome impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ensuring all material considerations are balanced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>making and checking recommendations </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Committee decisions <ul><li>this process is where your costs build up </li></ul><ul><li>there is extra cost in taking an application to Committee – money + time </li></ul><ul><li>the performance agenda is pushing the need to think about how efficiently we can make decisions without affecting the quality of the decision – but things are changing </li></ul>
  12. 12. Delegation <ul><li>delegation is not intended to change the outcome of a decision on an application </li></ul><ul><li>delegation does not transfer power from elected members to their officers </li></ul><ul><li>provided the delegation scheme is written and operated effectively </li></ul><ul><li>best practice suggests >90% of applications can be delegated to officers </li></ul>
  13. 13. Determining an application at committee <ul><li>What needs to be presented to committee? </li></ul><ul><li>How much weight should be given to the various issues? </li></ul><ul><li>Councillor’s roles and responsibilities </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Development Plan <ul><li>Section 38 of the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ If regard is to be had to the development plan for the purpose of any determination to be made under the planning Acts, the determination is to be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise’ </li></ul>
  15. 15. The national context
  16. 16. The Development Plan
  17. 17. The Planning Reform Agenda Community Right to Build Neighbourhood Plans Local Plans National Policy Incentives Planning decisions
  18. 18. Material considerations <ul><li>EXERCISE </li></ul><ul><li>What considerations should be taken into account in the determination of an application? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Non material considerations <ul><li>EXERCISE </li></ul><ul><li>What considerations should NOT be taken into account in the determination of an application? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Councillor conduct and role <ul><li>1) As a Ward Councillor… </li></ul><ul><li>… you can support or oppose an application and represent the views of your constituents </li></ul><ul><li>2) As a Planning Committee Member… </li></ul><ul><li>… doing so will compromise your (impartial) role on the committee. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Avoid favouring a person, company, group or locality or putting yourself in a position where you appear to do so’ </li></ul>
  21. 21. Development Management <ul><li>Concentrates on delivery – not control </li></ul><ul><li>Puts spatial planning plans into action </li></ul><ul><li>End to end delivery chain </li></ul><ul><li>Place shaping </li></ul><ul><li>Proportionate appropriate processes </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in structures </li></ul>
  22. 22. Pre-application discussions <ul><li>Benefit both parties </li></ul><ul><li>Councillor role as champion </li></ul><ul><li>Positive engagement – a guide for planning Councillors - have you read it? </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions within clear guidelines – do you use your protocol? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Site visits <ul><li>Take a consistent approach </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about when a visit is justified </li></ul><ul><li>Getting the most out of site visits </li></ul><ul><li>- ascertaining facts </li></ul><ul><li>- establishing relationship of site with surrounding features/characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>- who can speak </li></ul>
  24. 24. Meetings <ul><ul><li>maintain an impartial role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>listen to different viewpoints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to follow up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>making a declaration of interest </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. The decision <ul><li>Open to appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial Review </li></ul><ul><li>Ombudsman </li></ul>
  26. 26. Regular review of decisions <ul><ul><li>Impact of decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and consistency of decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undertaken annually, broad range of applications </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Exercise - How does your delegation scheme work? <ul><li>Look at your delegation scheme </li></ul>
  28. 28. Exercise - Points to consider <ul><li>summary </li></ul><ul><li>do you achieve the 90%+ delegated decision target? </li></ul><ul><li>what is your current level of delegated decisions? Has it changed recently? </li></ul><ul><li>what else might be needed to reach the 90%+ target? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Taking stock <ul><li>do you have any concerns about any ideas we have just considered? </li></ul><ul><li>a good delegation scheme is essential to reconcile democratic accountability + deliver speedier decisions </li></ul><ul><li>maximising the number of delegated decisions allows councillors to focus on applications needing additional scrutiny where added member value in balancing conflicting pressures is important </li></ul>
  30. 30. Issues to consider 1 <ul><li>constitutional arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>categories of development in scheme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all developments, or categories of development to be listed as delegated? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some allow all applications to be delegated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some allow all apart from development plan departures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some list categories, excluding major development, development plan departures, and other categories (eg. Mobile phone masts) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Issues to consider 2 <ul><ul><li>Committee referrals – member requests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>notice of applications to Planning Committee members, or all members, showing delegated applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>deadline for written member requests for an application to be referred to Committee instead </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>reasons to be given in request for Committee consideration, plus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>some refer to Chair or panel to consider whether request adds value, and is therefore appropriate </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Issues to consider 3 <ul><li>committee referrals – consultation replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>statutory consultees views at variance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parish + Town Council views at variance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>members of the public views at variance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>should all or any of these situations lead to referral of a delegated application to committee? </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Issues to consider 4 <ul><li>committee referrals – consultation replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not necessarily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>judgement to be exercised – proper consideration of issues raised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scheme has to say what is allowable and any circumstances requiring automatic referral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where there is a fine balance between competing interests or a contentious case reasonable to expect discussion at Committee </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Issues to consider 5 <ul><ul><li>Transparent + open decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scheme needs to be sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Some flexibility required </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced reports </li></ul>
  35. 35. Summary <ul><li>Better understanding of the decision making process? </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of the role of Councillors? </li></ul><ul><li>Outstanding points? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Contact PAS email [email_address] web www.pas.gov.uk phone 020 7664 3000

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