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Forest of Dean District Development Control Charter

PLANNING CONTROL IN THE FOREST OF DEAN

The Forest of Dean District Council is responsible for the majority of the decisions made about planning matters within the area. Most people who become involved with planning do so through the Development Control process, either as an applicant for planning permission or as someone affected by a development.

The decisions that are made on proposals are one aspect of the service that is provided but the other aspect is the quality of the processes that are followed in carrying out the responsibilities that we have for controlling development.

This Charter sets out what you can expect from the service and the standards that we aim to achieve. It also includes recommendations for you as an applicant or as a local resident in order to minimise delay and help us to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

The service exists for the benefit of the whole community and has to take into account not only the wishes of the individuals or businesses who want to develop but of those who want to protect the environment of the area.

In dealing with applications the Council has to strike the right balance between enhancing and protecting the environment and encouraging development that will provide for the economic and social well-being of the area.

Development Control is a complex process governed by a comprehensive legal framework. The Charter will help to guide you through the process and clarify what you can expect from it.

It is divided into sections which deal with each of the areas of work relating to the Development Control process.

INFORMATION & ADVICE BEFORE A PLANNING APPLICATION

We welcome pre-application discussions to sort out the main planning issues.

In order to help you to understand what the planning requirements are, the Department will:-

  • Ensure that a member of the Development Control staff is available during office hours to deal with general advice and information.
  • Provide specific officers by appointment.
  • Reply to letters within 14 days for most enquiries although where it is more complex and will take longer, an initial, explanatory letter will be sent.
  • Make available any planning policy documents (e.g. Structure or Local Plan) for examination at the Departmentís reception, together with any relevant advice notes.
  • Deal with simple enquiries on the telephone.

 

THE PLANNING APPLICATION

The applicant, or agent, is responsible for the correct and complete submission of a planning application. In order to help you we will:-

  • Advise on the filling in of the application form and any supplementary information.

  • Register and acknowledge the application within five working days.

  • Return the application to you within 10 working days if it proves to be for a proposal not requiring planning permission.

 

DEALING WITH THE APPLICATION

Where an application is submitted by an agent, all notification, discussion etc. will take place with him/her.

  • The acknowledgement will name the case officer who will be your first point of contact for any queries regarding the application.

  • Minor proposals will be decided by the Director of Planning and Leisure Services in accordance with Council policy and the scheme of delegation. More major or controversial proposals will be decided by the Planning (Development Control) Committee which normally meets on the first Tuesday of every month. This meeting is open to the public although you are not permitted to take part in the proceedings.

  • The scheme of delegation will be available for inspection at the Departmentís reception area.

  • The site of the proposal will be inspected by the Case Officer as soon as possible after receipt of the application.

  • If future information is required, it will be sought as soon as the need for it becomes evident.

  • If the application is not acceptable but could be amended, reasons will be given and suggestions for improvements/ alterations will be made.

  • If an application is dealt with by the Committee, any supporting information will be summarised for them.

 

PUBLICITY

  • Neighbours who adjoin the site will be notified of applications received in accordance with the Councilís policy. Some applications will also be advertised in the local press and may require notices to be posted on the site to publicise the proposal.

  • A period of 21 days will be allowed for comments to be made and all comments received will be acknowledged. All comments made on a proposal will be available for public inspection.

  • All comments should be made in writing to the Director of Planning and Leisure Services.

  • When significant revised proposals are received, re-notification will take place and a further period of 14 days given for comments to be made.

 

THE DECISION

  • Applications will be determined within 8 weeks unless there are reasons for not doing so, such as continuing negotiations or further consultations.

  • The decision notice will normally be issued within 3 working days of the Committee meeting.

  • Everyone who has submitted written comments on the application will be notified of the decision.

  • Where a legal agreement is necessary prior to the decision being issued you will be informed as soon as possible and the terms agreed without any undue delay.

 

MONITORING DEVELOPMENT & ENFORCEMENT

  • It is the applicantís responsibility to ensure that development takes place in accordance with the planning permission and to comply with any conditions.

  • Where approval is required from the District Council for matters specified in the conditions (e.g. landscaping or materials), adequate information will need to be submitted and a decision will be made normally within 14 working days.

  • Developments will be monitored to ensure compliance with the terms of the permission.

  • Any amendments to the approved development should be notified to the Council. Minor amendments will be dealt with promptly by the Case Officer. More extensive amendments will need to be the subject of a new application.

  • Where an alleged breach of planning control is reported or suspected, the issue will be investigated.

  • Written complaints will be acknowledged and the origin of all complaints will remain confidential to the Council.

  • If a breach of planning control has taken place, the person responsible will be given the opportunity to correct the situation within a reasonable period of time.

  • In the event of the situation not being resolved by negotiation, appropriate enforcement action may be taken.

  • Complainants will be advised of the action that is to be taken and if no further action is proposed, the reasons for that.

 

APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS

If your application is refused and the reasons cannot be overcome, there is an appeal procedure which is explained in the decision notice.

If you have any complaints about the way in which your application has been handled which cannot be resolved with the Case Officer, they should be taken up in the first instance with the Assistant Director in charge of Development Control.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information contact:

Forest of Dean District Council, Planning & Leisure Services
High Street, Coleford, Glos GL16 8HG

Tel. 01594 810000

 


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