What powers does Saltford Parish Council have with respect to planning applications? - Saltford Parish Council

Parish Councils are not planning authorities. The planning authority for Saltford is B&NES Council. As such Saltford Parish Council does not have powers to grant or refuse planning permission.

Saltford Parish Council is a statutory consultee in the planning process. As a consultee, the planning authority (usually B&NES Council) must by law inform Saltford Parish Council of certain types of planning applications within the parish. Saltford Parish Council can also be consulted by other relevant planning authorities (e.g. North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council etc.) should an application potentially impact on Saltford.

Saltford Parish Council can choose to respond to planning consultations or not, but generally does respond to all planning consultations received from B&NES Council.

Parish councils generally agree to comment on planning applications at council or committee meetings, which the public can attend. Parish Councils can either support an application, object to it, or offer comments. Saltford Parish Council’s comments focus on what are known as “material considerations”. The planning authority sets a deadline to receive consultation responses by. These can be after SPC’s council or committee meetings. In these instances, if the planning authority states that it is unable to grant a time extension for SPC to respond, SPC may use its ‘Scheme of Delegation’ to resolve and submit a response prior to the consultation end date. This would then be reported and recorded in the minutes of the next meeting.

Parish Councillors are not planning experts, and it is not in the remit of the Parish Council to provide planning advice. As a statutory consultee in the planning process it can be unlawful for SPC to give planning advice. As such, any residents seeking advice on planning applications should contact officers at the planning authority (i.e. B&NES Council). Each planning application will have been assigned a case officer.

Once a response to a planning consultation is agreed by Saltford Parish Council and submitted to the planning authority, the views expressed by Saltford Parish Council will be taken into account by the planning authority before a decision is made, providing the points made are relevant to the determination of a planning application. Submitted responses from Saltford Parish Council to B&NES Council consultations can be found on the B&NES Council Planning Portal a couple of days after a Parish Council meeting takes place. Copies of full responses are also recorded in Saltford Parish Council’s meeting minutes.

The final decision on any planning application is made by the planning authority (usually B&NES Council), not Saltford Parish Council. As above, parish councils cannot approve or reject planning applications. Saltford Parish Council can only comment on planning applications in the same way that individuals can comment.

SPC advises that residents share their views on the B&NES Council Planning Portal as soon as possible, as SPC refers to these prior to making its own decision which can take place at any point during the consultation period. Should a resident wish to share their views directly with Saltford Parish Council prior to SPC resolving its response to a planning consultation received from a planning authority, please see SPC’s page ‘How can members of the public make their views known?‘.

Other information about planning matters in Saltford

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