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What matters are considered in reaching a decision?

The Council is required to make decisions of applications in accordance with the Development Plan, unless material considerations say otherwise.  The Development Plan is currently made up of the Core Strategy DPD 2008 and Detailed Policies 2014.  There are also supplementary documents that the Council has adopted and takes into account. These can be viewed at Planning policy.

Whilst the Development Plan is the main decision making tool planning law requires all other factors that are material to making a decision be taken into account.  The Courts have decided that the following items are not material considerations and therefore they cannot influence a planning decision.  When making comments on a planning application these items should be avoided as the Council is unable to take account of them.

Items that are not material considerations

  • the character of the applicant
  • who owns the land
  • private rights
  • restrictive covenants
  • changes in property values
  • competition
  • loss of view
  • I can think of a better site, better use, better development

Each application will be determined on its own merits. We will consider whether the proposal complies with our approved planning policies and how it will affect its surroundings, visually and physically.

This involves:

  • applying specific land use policies
  • ensuring the local character of the property or area is protected or enhanced
  • following Government advice and planning law;
  • looking at the outcome of other similar applications and appeal decisions;
  • considering the effects of traffic on local roads and highway safety;
  • promoting energy efficiency and sustainable development options; and
  • taking into account all comments received as a result of our public consultations.


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