Planning Committee Terms of Reference

The Planning Terms of Reference were adopted by Full Council at its Council Meeting held on 27 July 2021.

The Council’s Standing Orders and Code of Conduct shall apply to this Committee and its members.

Nothing in these terms of reference shall prevent the Council from dealing with a matter that might otherwise be dealt with by this Committee.

1.      Objective

Charmouth Parish Council is currently an advisory body to the Local Planning Authority (Dorset Council) for all planning applications that relate to the Parish area.

The Planning Committee is constituted to consider and to respond on behalf of the Council in respect of such applications.

2.      Membership

Membership shall consist of a maximum of five Council members elected annually along with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Parish Council in an ex-officio capacity.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee shall be elected by the committee membership at the first meeting after the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council.

Non-Councillor members of the Committee may be appointed from time to time if this is considered appropriate.  These members will not have voting rights unless this is expressly approved.

A quorum shall consist of three members.

3.      Areas of Responsibility

The Planning Committee has the delegated authority from Charmouth Parish Council:

a)      To make representations to the Local Planning Authority on applications for planning permission which have been notified to the Council;

b)      To make representations in respect of appeals against the refusal of planning permission;

c)      To identify and make representations to the relevant authorities in respect of enforcement action or any matters considered to be breaches of planning regulations;

d)      To monitor, review and where necessary make recommendations to the Council for amendments to the planning consultation procedure; 

e)      To deal with any other planning related matter that a meeting of the Full Council considers appropriate to be referred to the Planning Committee; and

f)       The Clerk be given delegated powers for all Tree Preservation Orders to state that the Council comments are in line with the Tree Warden’s recommendation.  The planning application will be reported in the normal way on the planning list, with relevant comments.

4.      Planning Applications

Planning applications shall be circulated to Planning Committee members as they are received and at least five days before the Parish Council Planning Committee meeting, by the Parish Clerk. The applications may be viewed on the Planning Portal at Dorset Council.

5.      Meetings

The calendar of meetings shall be confirmed at the first meeting after the Annual Meeting of the Charmouth Parish Council.

The Parish Clerk or the Chairman of the Planning Committee may call additional Planning Committee meetings as and when necessary, to ensure that all Planning Applications received can be discussed and replied to within the timescale.  However, if the application(s) in question does not attract adverse comments,  comments of members (taking into account any other responses made via the portal) will be collated by the Parish Clerk, approved by Committee members and submitted the day before the deadline date.

The Planning Committee has an obligation to ensure that any comments received, prior to the meeting, from any relevant parties, applicants and objectors, for planning applications (not including enforcement notices) are considered at the meeting.

Only members of the Committee may vote on agenda items but other Councillors may attend in that capacity and may speak with the permission of the Chair but shall not be entitled to vote.

Minutes of all meetings will be recorded by the Parish Clerk, Deputy Clerk or by any member nominated at the meeting and circulated at the Full Council meetings.

6.      Responses

The Parish Clerk will communicate to the Local Planning Authority the Committee’s decision in respect of applications considered.

Where an application is subject to an appeal, the Committee is authorised to make written representation or to elect a member of the Committee to attend the hearing.

Wherever possible, a member of the Planning Committee is to be nominated to attend Planning Authority’s meeting, as necessary.

All correspondence should be conducted through the Parish Clerk.

7.      Review

These terms of reference are to be reviewed annually by the Committee at the first meeting following the Annual Meeting of the Council.

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