Milborne Port

You are here: Home Planning

Planning Responsibilities

Parish Council responsibilities with regard to planning applications.

This monograph is written to clarify the Parish Council’s responsibility with regards to planning applications in the Parish as there is often confusion within the village as to “who does what”.

South Somerset District Council is the Planning Authority (Not Somerset County Council or the Parish Council) and so is the responsible authorirty for the approval or rejection of planning applications.

The Parish Council are consulted on all planning applications within the Parish on the same basis as individual neighbours to any single application are consulted.

The Parish Council has no authority to reject or approve applications.

If the Parish Council wishes to object to any application, it must consider whether its objection is based upon “material” or “non-material” considerations. If the Parish Council makes objections that are non-material or because members of the electorate are attempting to sway the council outside material considerations, it risks its comments being ignored for individual applications and its viewpoint not being taken seriously in the long term.

The Council has, therefore, to consider what it believes to be in the best interests of the Parish as a whole, recognising that change is part of the fabric of life and the concept of a rural idyll is unsustainable in the same way that living without telephone, internet and modern transportation systems is not practical. By the same token, it must recognise that many residents have chosen to live here because of its character as a village, not a town.

The Parish Council will, however, always acknowledge in its response to planning applications, any strong feelings represented to it by village residents.

Material considerations

These are stated below. It is clear that most of these contain an element of judgement for consideration and only a few can be determined scientifically or absolutely. Material considerations are:

  • Design and appearance of the structure being considered
  • Visual Impact
  • Conservation impact
  • Access to the structure and parking arrangements
  • Privacy
  • Flood risk to the structure or created by it
  • Protected species (bats etc.)

Five-year housing supply

Most contention with regards to planning comes from planning applications to build new houses. The district council are charged by central government to providing a forward plan for housing needs in the area and trying to ensure that this supply is met. At the moment, the five-year housing supply is not being met and whilst this situation remains, the District Council are predisposed to allow applications unless there are strong material considerations against individual applications.

You are here: Home Planning