Issue - meetings


Meeting: 20/07/2022 - Planning Applications Committee (Item 27)


Additional documents:


The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report seeking approval to make permanent the extension of delegated powers to officers to determine planning applications, as introduced as an interim measure at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic episode. 


  • Appendix 1 provided the delegations as preceding April 2020
  • Appendix 2 provided a copy of Appendix B as it had appeared in the Policy Committee papers for 27 April 2020, showing the existing delegations and the changes to them agreed as an interim measure for online meetings
  • Appendix 3 provided the delegations now proposed


The report explained that a report had been presented at Policy Committee on 27 April 2020 to explain that the Coronavirus Act and associated Regulations from 2020 had enabled Council meetings to take place online during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The report had provided revised protocols for running meetings to help manage online events and had included a proposal to extend the delegated authority for making decisions on planning applications and confirming Tree Preservation Orders to reduce the work handled by Planning Applications Committee (PAC), which had been agreed by the Policy Committee.  The report explained the changes which had been made.


With committee meetings being run mainly in person once again, officers had been considering if the amended delegations should continue to apply. The purpose of the extension, to help to reduce the number of cases needing to be decided by PAC, remained valid as it reduced the burden of work on case officers preparing and presenting reports for committee.


The report stated that, in practice, officers had welcomed being able to use the delegated authority to refuse major applications or to determine amendments in their negotiations to good effect and had exercised common sense by bringing the more controversial cases to committee. Between June 2020 and July 2022, 13 Major applications had been refused planning permission with four coming to PAC for a decision. The ability to deal with Variations to permissions without first clearing the approach with Councillors had also been effective.


Councillors could still call those and other applications to committee for a decision and were aware of the need to justify why. Officers had welcomed this and the way that Councillors had been pragmatic and willing to work with officers to confirm if a call in was still needed as the case had been progressed.


The report clarified that the section on Section 73 Variations – regarding applications to develop land without compliance with conditions attached by Committee - had been deleted, in line with the interim arrangement that those decisions be delegated to officers. However, it was considered appropriate to ask for a PAC decision when an objection to a Tree Preservation Order had been received or where the proposal had been submitted by or on behalf of the Council, so this was no longer proposed to be delegated.


An update report was tabled at the meeting which explained that, when the extended delegations had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27