Local Planning

Oaklands Application No- 5/2013/2589-Comprehensive Development to College-Development of 348 Dwellings Car Parking an Associated Access.

Those looking at our site might wish to be aware there is a large application for the development of over 300 homes on part of the Oaklands site which will be received by the district council planning policy report into committee on Wednesday 18th December. You can get more details by following menu box here for information then St Albans District Council web site and click on their link to planning and type in the application number. www.stalbans.gov.uk/planning/Searchforplanningapplications

Whilst not in the parish of Colney Heath, but nearby Sandridge Parish the development has wider implications for our parish in the amount of increased traffic and lack of infrastructure the proposal may bring. We have objected to the application and a copy of our letter is available to view with lots of comments sent in including those from Sandridge parish council, residents and residents groups.

Planning Applications & Decisions

Here is some information to help you understand the participation and role of local and parish council’s about planning decisions.

Firstly and most important note that Parish Councils are not a planning authority and their decisions can be ignored, but are there to assist local democracy with an opportunity to comment on plans.

Parish Councils have very limited powers on planning issues in that they are only able to act in an advisory capacity. District Councils have a duty to inform planning applications in the parish area or locality where they the Parish Council or its members may have particular or local knowledge about developments or hear local representations or concerns. Parish Councils may also receive detail or information from the public that they are able to pass on to the District Councils. There is a wide range of options open to the public to participate. Have a look at the district council web site. Legislation has also extended right of representation to a wide section of the public in a similar way.

District Councils normally notify the Parish Council about an application via “planning on line” it is no different from the access any member of the public or neighbours may also make about a particular application. New Legislation, National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has made the process a lot easier and if you wish to make representations then you should contact the local planning authority.

A district planning authority must inform a local or parish council of the terms of its decision on an application in relation to which the council has made representations in the local planning authority.

Large developments have a wider consultation period, up to 8-13 weeks and are often referred to as an MDA Major Development Application. These applications often raise local issues and sometimes this may result in a great deal of concern where parish councils may offer public open meetings to gauge the local opinions. Sometimes these raise extreme concerns that result in petitions or other protests, current Waste and Freight, are typical issues. Your Parish Council note public opinion and may request the applications be “called in” via the District Council to the Secretary of State or result in a public inquiry. This needs their full agreement and approval and becomes a legal document.

If an applicant is dissatisfied with a planning decision the next course open is to request to apply to have heard in appeal. This can take one of two routes, an open inquiry or a response by exchange of letters or submissions. This is known as a “ PINS appeal”-and there is a Government web site you can use for more information or help. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/planning-inspectorate‎.