As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the government restrictions in place for public meetings and gatherings, the Council has had to change how it deals with those planning applications that would normally be determined by its Planning Committee.
For an indefinite period, the current approach whereby certain applications are reported to Planning Committee has been suspended. Until new legislation is brought into effect to allow for 'remote' meetings to take place and to give the council opportunity to consider these changes and how they can be introduced, alternative interim arrangements are being implemented.
Interim arrangements for Planning Committee
In the event a decision is needed in the circumstances set out below, officers canvass views from Members, by remote means asking them to confirm if they support the officer recommendation:
- A proposal that involves the Council as either applicant or landowner (or has a financial interest) and the proposal is a 'major application' i.e. residential developments of 10 or more units/over 0.5ha or non-residential creation of 1,000sqm gross floor area/development over 1ha excluding reserved matters applications.
- If submitted by or on behalf of an Assistant Director or above or an Elected Member.
- If a departure from policy and officers are recommending approval.
- The number and nature of representations from the public against officer recommendation is, in the opinion of the SDM: Development Management and/or Area Planning Officer, sufficient to require that the application should be determined by Board.
Each Member of the Planning Committee will be invited to indicate whether or not they support the recommendation. The officer decision will then follow the majority result and, in the event of even responses, the Chair will, essentially, use a “casting” vote.
With regards to applications that are called in during the period, an additional level of assessment and review will be undertaken by senior officers in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Committee after which the decision will be made by the Service Delivery Manager for Development Management.
In accordance with the requirements of planning legislation, individuals, Parish Councils and Ward Members will still be able to express their views on an application by submitting their comments through planning online, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Telford & Wrekin Council, Development Management, Wellington Civic Offices, PO Box 457, Telford, TF2 2FH. It is advisable, if possible, to send your comments by electronic means to ensure there is no delay in receiving them.
These changes have been implemented in response to the exceptional circumstances we are facing to ensure that we maintain business continuity whilst safeguarding members of our public, elected Members and our staff. They are in line with measures being adopted by other authorities to address the current situation and are temporary in nature. If legislation is passed to give the authority power to hold formal meetings using technology, then this position will be reviewed.
Your application may go to Planning Committee, a committee of members, if any of the following apply:
- a proposal that involves the Council as either applicant or landowner (or has a financial interest) and the proposal is a major application (residential – 10 or more units, development over 0.5 ha or non residential – creation of 1,000m2 gross floor area/development over 1ha excluding reserved matters applications)
- if submitted by or on behalf of Assistant Director or above or an elected member
- if formally requested by the relevant Ward Member or relevant Parish Council
- if a departure from policy and officers are recommending approval
- if a S106 relating to new financial contributions/affordable housing provision
- the number and nature of representations from the public against officer recommendation is, in the opinion of the Service Delivery Manager - Development Management and/or Area Planning Officer, sufficient to require that the application should be determined by Planning Committee.
To find out if an application is to be considered by Planning Committee it is your responsibility to check, via the online planning file, or by contacting 01952 380380. You will not be automatically informed.
An officer prepares a report and makes a recommendation to committee, which is available 5 working days prior to the meeting. Further representations are permitted by members of the public up until 24 hours prior to committee and these must be made by email to email@example.com and labelled ‘Urgent for planning committee’. Representations made after this time may not be reported.
On occasions a site visit is conducted by the members of committee. Whilst members of the public are permitted to attend the visit, no engagement or debate is allowed as this would prejudice the predetermination of the application.
Planning Committee is a meeting held in public where public speaking allows for some representations to be made for a period of 3 minutes. If you wish to speak you need to register your interest no later than 5pm, 2 working days before the meeting. To register your interest please contact Democratic Services via email at PublicSpeaking@telford.gov.uk, by telephone on 01952 383205 or by letter to Democratic Services, Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT.
Planning Committee comprises of a Chair, a Vice Chair and 8 other Borough Councillors. The Planning Committee meets on a three week cycle. Details of dates, time and place is available at planning online.
Last updated: 12.03pm on Friday 3 April 2020