Planning procedures and performance
Aims of development control
The aim of development control is to ensure that the pattern and nature of proposed development falls within local policies and follows central government legislation and guidance as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Statements.
We try to deal with most applications within eight weeks, or within thirteen weeks for major applications. Applications go through various stages before we make a decision.
When we receive an application we check it to make sure it is valid. We check:
- the forms are filled in correctly
- all plans are accurate and to a recognised metric scale
- all additional information that is required is included, such as Flood Risk Assessments and Bat Surveys
- the correct fee is included.
If we do not have enough information to process an application we will write to the applicant outlining the issues.
When we have everything we need, the application is valid and is added to the planning register, allocated to a planning officer and the time frame begins. This is outlined in the acknowledgement letter, which we send to the applicant or agent.
Publicity and consultation stage
The next step is to publicise the application. For most types of application we have a statutory duty to allow members of the public at least 21 days to comment on the application, this is known as the consultation period.
Valid applications can be publicised in several ways:
- added to the eplanning service
- added to the weekly list of applications received. This is also available on the eplanning service
- letters sent to neighbours
- display a public notice at the application site
- advertised in the Derby Telegraph.
The way we publicise the application is governed by legislation, and also incorporates our Statement of Community Involvement.
We also send consultations to various bodies:
- Council departments such as Environmental Health, Highways, Policy
- external groups such as Historic England, Sport England, Police.
We offer a special service to disabled people and for those people who are unable to get to our offices for some exceptional reason, such as caring for a dependent relative. We will send a copy of an application or arrange a visit by the case officer to the person’s home to show them the application in such cases.
Comments can be made by anyone, regardless of whether or not they were notified individually. We will consider all representations, providing they relate to relevant planning issues, which we call ‘material considerations’. We cannot consider issues such as:
- any moral issues
- loss of property value
- private disputes between neighbours
- matters covered by leases or covenants
- the impact of construction work
- competition between firms.
Comments can be submitted:
- through the eplanning service comments section
- or write to the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planning and Streetpride
- or by petition.
Comments need to include contact details for us to be able to take them into account.
Petitions should include a concise statement covering the subject of the petition repeated at the top of each page. The petition should include the name, address and signature of any person supporting the position, and the contact details, including an address, of the petition organiser. More information about the requirements of petitions is on our Petitions page.
All comments and petitions need to be submitted within the statutory consultation period. The closing date for comments can be found in the application details on eplanning service under "Standard Consultation Expiry Date".
We acknowledge comments by post or email and they will be made available for public inspection under the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. All comments are published on our eplanning service in line with Data Protection guidelines - we remove personal details such as telephone numbers, email addresses and signatures, however all other details will be published.
After the publicity and consultation stage the officer dealing with the application can make a recommendation on the application.
The Planning Officer dealing with the application will visit the site to check that the drawings are correct, to consider the issues raised by objectors and consultees and to assess the site features and surrounding area. If there are any problems with the application, if appropriate, the officer will negotiate a scheme that is likely to be acceptable, providing that this can be achieved within the recommended timeframes set by central government, or within an agreed extension of time period.
Our practice is to negotiate improvements to applications when necessary. We will normally renotify neighbours of amendments, if we consider that they raise new issues that could lead to the need for further comment. We give 14 days for such comments to be made.
The Officer will form a professional view on the acceptability or otherwise of the proposal. This might involve assessing responses from other people consulted as well as comments from local residents. As part of the process of dealing with a planning application, the officer will have to take into account various Planning Constraints which could affect the decision.
The Officer will either recommend to grant permission, usually with conditions, or to refuse permission. We base the recommendation on planning considerations and we will not recommend a refusal solely because many people oppose the proposal. We must make sure that an application fits in with the development plan for the area and meets other approved planning policies and standards. We will take account of relevant comments from other Council departments and sections on such issue as noise and potential traffic or road safety problems.
Most decisions are taken by officers and the final decision is likely to be made by the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planning and Streetpride under powers delegated by the Council. Some applications are determined by the Planning Control Committee, who consider applications if:
- fifteen (15) or more duly made objections (within 28 days of notification of an application) have been received, which raise material planning considerations and the officer recommendation is to approve permission/consent - (objections from the same house or household or family members will be treated as a single objection), or
- the application is contrary to a Local Plan allocation and the officer recommendation is to approve, or
- a Member of the Council has, within three weeks of being sent notification of an application, written to the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planning and Streetpride requesting its determination by the Committee, giving reasons for the request. Where the member concerned does not attend the meeting in person, or submit written representations, the application will be deemed to be determined in accordance with the recommendation of the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planning and Streetpride.
Full details can be found in the Council's Constitution - Scheme of Delegations.
Planning Control Committee
The Planning Control Committee consists of Councillors from the different political parties and wards of the city, however, the Committee members are not there to represent their ward.
Committee meetings are held in public, normally every six weeks, on a Thursday evening starting at 6pm in The Council Chamber, The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS.
Dates of meetings, agendas, minutes and reports for current and historic Planning Control Committee meetings can be found on our Democracy Portal.
When an application goes to the Committee, the Planning Officer will write a full report with a professional recommendation. The agenda and reports are available five working days before the day of the committee.
The report will usually include:
- a summary of the applications proposal
- a planning history of the application site
- a summary of all the grounds of objection or support
- a summary of consultations and the resulting comments
- a summary of the relevant planning policies
- the officer opinion and recommendation.
There might be an opportunity to speak at the meeting. We now allow two objectors to speak on an application being reported to the meeting. If more than two objectors have expressed a wish to speak, they must get together to choose a spokesperson. To speak at a Committee, all speeches:
- are limited to three minutes
- must be limited to planning issues
- must relate directly to the application under consideration.
- when someone speaks in objection, the applicant or their representative can also speak.
If you have commented on an application and wish to address the Committee please contact Development Control. If we know at which meeting the application could be considered we will give you a date of the meeting, although this might change. We cannot accept a request to speak later than 5pm on the Monday before the meeting. This is because of the requirement to notify the applicant so they can then choose if they wish to reply to any objections.
Please note that written representations will not be accepted after 5pm on the Monday before the Committee meeting takes place, and that the use of electronic devices for presentation purposes is not allowed. The meetings are open meetings, therefore even if you do not wish to speak at the meeting, you are welcome to view proceedings from the public gallery.
We will issue a formal notice of the decision, if an agent has been used to submit the application we will send the decision notice to the agent. If permission has been granted, the Decision notice will set out any conditions that must be complied with, often there are conditions which must be discharged before development can commence. If an application is refused, we will give clear reasons why. If conditions have been imposed or an application is refused, the applicant/agent can appeal against the decision.
A Planning Permission could include conditions requiring the applicant/agent to submit further details for approval by us. This must be done by submitting a Discharge of Conditions application. There is a fee for this application.
All development must be done in accordance with the approved plans and any conditions attached to the permission. It is the developer’s responsibility to let us know if amendments to the approved plans are necessary. A Planning Officer will be able to advise whether the changes need to be formally approved by submitting a further full planning application or whether we can deal with them by an application for a non-material amendment.
Even when you have Planning Permission, you might still need to get the land or building owner’s approval, and the permission will not override any restrictive covenants, which affect the property.
Appealing against a decision
Only the applicant or their agent can appeal against a refusal or appeal against the imposition of conditions. Appeals are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. Details of how to do this are in the notes attached to the decision notice.
We will normally agree to the ‘written representations’ method of dealing with appeals. This is unless the proposals have raised significant concern in the neighbourhood and, in our opinion, the issues raised by the proposals need to be explored in the presence of an Inspector appointed by The Planning Inspectorate.
If an appeal is made by the applicant and you commented on the application, we will notify you about the appeal and give you the opportunity to make further representations to the Government Planning Inspector dealing with the appeal. However, in the event of a householder appeal against refusal of planning permission, which is to be dealt with on the basis of representations in writing, any representations made about this application will be sent to the Secretary of State, and there will be no further opportunity to comment at appeal stage. The Planning Inspectorate will publish details of your comments.
Even when an appeal has been lodged, we are willing, where appropriate, to achieve an acceptable solution by the submission of a new application.
The Planning Portal has more information about planning appeals.
Our complaints procedure examines our process for dealing with an application, not the decision itself. We use the information from complaint outcomes to continually improve our services.