Planning decisions in Berkswell Parish are taken by the planning authority which is Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. The parish council is a “statutory consultee”. That is to say that by law the PC must be consulted. However, the PC does not have the power to take decision son planning matters it can only give its opinion to the planning authority.
How to Influence a planning decision
By all means if a planning application concerns or interests you, please come to the parish council meeting to express your view. However, if you wish to strongly influence the planning process you must let the planning authority know your view on firstname.lastname@example.org
Full details of a planning application can be found on the Solihull web site on https://publicaccess.solihull.gov.uk/online-applications/
You can search for a planning application either by entering the planning application number which will get you straight to it or by typing in the road name and the system will give you details of all applications in that road including historical ones. You can select the one that you are interested in.
Planning Applications 2017/18 and 2018/19
The applications and Parish Council's responses to each can be viewed in the following document:
You are not on your own
Whilst weight of members is not important to the Council officers making the decision on planning applications large numbers expressing concern can help influence a decision in the following manner.
Five objections received by the planning department require the application to be considered by the planning committee if the officers support approval of the planning application. The planning committee is composed of elected Borough Councillors. They are sensitive to local views and will sometimes exercise their discretion on issues such as amenity and very special circumstances (a greenbelt term) in a different way to officials.
Your local Borough Councillor has the right to address the planning committee for 4 minutes. They are known to the Councillors sitting on the Planning Committee and sometimes bring credibility to an issue which otherwise is hard to explain.
The planning committee will allow one resident the opportunity to address the planning committee for 3 minutes. It is important that you have objected and then apply to speak before the meeting as indicated in the letter you will receive advising you of the date of the planning committee. Whilst only one resident can speak, if it is obvious that a large number of people support that resident, naturally the planning committee will understand that you are not just a lone objector. Any number of people can attend a planning committee meeting to watch but it is very important that they are polite. Intimidating the planning committee members is only likely to make them react against you.
If you plan to speak at the planning committee, then the parish council will almost always exercise its right to speak. Like the Ward Borough Councillor, the PC can also speak for 4 minutes.
It is best that if addressing the planning committee, the ward Borough Councillor, resident and parish council co-ordinate to make best use of the time allowed (which is not much)
The planning rules
Planning decision should be made within the context of planning policies established by government and Solihull Council. There ae two important documents and if you frame support or objection to a planning application with specific reference to those rules you stand more chance of success. Those two documents are
- · The National Planning Policy Framework 2018
- · The Solihull Local Plan 2013
These are both available by Googling those names. Your parish councillors can often help you frame letters.