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Planning Decisions Information
Who Makes the Decision?
About 80% of the decisions made on planning applications are delegated to planning officers for decisions. The others are considered by the relevant Area Development Management Committee, which meets every four or five weeks in public.
Please note that for all applications validated from 1 September 2012, the Council's Scheme of Delegation which sets out the criteria for whether the application is decided by a Committee of Councillors or by officers under delegated powers is changing. The details can be found in the relevant section of the Council's Constitution. The relevant changes are at paragraphs 3.12 and 10.9.
This new scheme has been introduced so that Horsham District Council is more comparable with other Local Planning Authorities and will enable the Council to provide a more efficient and effective planning service to all its customers.
Further guidance will be given at the next Agents' and Parish Clerks' Forums to be held next month. Invitations will be sent out closer to the time.
Agents Forum on 16 November 2012 - (10.30am to 12noon)
Parish Clerks Forum on 23 November 2012 - (10.30am to 12noon).
How quickly will I get a decision?
The Government has set Councils the target of deciding 80% of householder planning applications within 8 weeks. This recognises that about 20% of applications raise difficult issues which take longer to decide. If your application cannot be dealt with within 8 weeks after receipt the reason will be explained to you on request. In most cases you will already be aware as a result of discussions. The target for more complicated 'minor' applications is 65% within 8 weeks and 'major' applications it is 60% within 13 weeks. Speed is not more important than the quality of decision but there is no reason why good decisions need to be slow ones if the Council is efficient.
What are Conditions?
In some cases your application will be approved subject to some conditions which you are required to meet. Conditions can let developments go ahead which might otherwise be refused. The decision letter will explain any conditions and why they are necessary.
If planning permission is granted, you will normally have to start work within 3 years. The Council can set a longer or shorter time limit if considered appropriate, and will explain the reasons clearly on the decision notice. If the development is not started within this time limit, it will be necessary to re-apply for permission. Planning permission can be renewed (for a fee) but you must apply before the end of the time limit. The Council is not obliged to renew permission and must take into account any new factors which may affect the proposal, such as a revised development plan.
Conditions might require that certain details of the development need to be agreed before work starts. Where these details are straightforward (for example the type of materials to be used in the development) the Council will aim to decide whether your proposals are suitable within 15 working days of receiving them. Samples of materials may be delivered to the Council Offices and should be accompanied by a Sample of Materials Form.
Some planning applications have conditions that need to be monitored. Monitoring involves checking that the submission of details for approval has taken place and checking the implementation of the scheme on site. Conditions that are monitored involve the management of new construction sites and the occupancy of specific buildings, materials to be used and landscaping. If compliance with the conditions is not achieved, a Breach of Condition Notice can be served to ensure that this occurs.