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How is a planning application determined?

We are required to assess each planning application on its own merits, taking into account national and local Planning Policy as well as other material considerations.

Applications are allocated to a planning case officer, who is the point of contact for making enquiries about the application. The case officer is responsible for carrying out a site visit, assessing the merits of the proposal in terms of planning policy and the comments received as a result of the consultation process.

The application will first be validated. We will check the application is complete and ready to process.

The majority of planning applications, approximately 90%, are dealt with by Council officers under delegated powers. The other 10% are determined by Planning Committee.

Delegated powers

Applications determined under delegated powers for minor developments (including householder applications) are generally determined within eight weeks of validation. Applications for major schemes are generally determined within 13 weeks of validation.

Planning Committee

If an application is going to be determined by the Planning Committee, the applicant or their agent will be notified in line with the Scheme of Delegation which is set out in the Council Constitution on page 41 (Section 3.2.2). Notification will be by letter approximately a week before the committee date.

If you have submitted comments in support or objection of an application that is going to be determined by Committee, you will receive written confirmation of the Committee date and officer recommendation to establish whether you wish to speak on the application at Committee.

There are two planning Committees: Planning Committee (North) and Planning Committee (South). They each meet once a month.

All meetings are held at our offices at Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham, RH12 1RL. The dates are published in our Meetings and Agenda section.

Speaking at Planning Committee

If you wish to speak at Committee in support or opposition of an application you can do this by following the instructions in the letter.

Each registered speaker will be limited to 2 minutes in which to make any representations. Unless specified otherwise the total time for such representations and order is as follows:

  • Objectors: 3 speaking slots, each limited to 2 minutes
  • Applicant/Agent/Supporter: 3 speaking slots, each limited to 2 minutes
  • Parish or Neighbourhood Council representative(s): 1 speaking slot limited to 2 minutes

If you have registered to speak, you should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. You will be given a brief explanation of the arrangements and your attendance will be recorded. You will not be able to present or circulate photographs, plans, documentation or any other visual aids or material at the Committee meeting.

Items will normally be heard in the order set out on the agenda.This means it may be some time before the item in which you are interested is heard.

Following the presentation of the case by the case officer and the comments received from speakers, Councillors will discuss the planning application, involving the officers as necessary. There will be no further right to speak or raise questions.

The Committee will make a decision to either:

  • Refuse the application
  • Permit the application as recommended with or without additional conditions
  • Defer the decision on the application to another meeting, to enable further discussion to take place and/or to obtain additional material
  • Delegate the decision to the Development Manager

Once the Committee has taken a decision, only the applicant or agent has a right of appeal. There is no third party right of appeal.

Committee decisions normally take place within 3 working days of the meeting unless the decision is pending the receipt of additional material or a legal agreement related to the development.