Councillors will be able to get involved in the planning application process much earlier due to new amendments made by Charnwood Borough Council…
Changes to the planning application process will allow for “greater dialogue about addressing relevant local concerns”.
The decision to amend the process was made during a Full Council meeting on 27 June. This means councillors in Charnwood will be able to get involved in planning application disputes at a much earlier stage.
The procedure was created for when councillors require a planning applications to be decided by the Plans Committee rather than by officers. Previously, councillors only became involved at the end of the application process. The amendment means councillors will have the opportunity to raise concerns and be more involved if objections are raised.
Changes are expected to come into play for new applications received on or after 1 July. Information and training will be available for councillors to help understand the new processes.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor David Snartt, representative for the Forest Bradgate ward said: “I had some concerns when this came out in the way that we as members were going to work with officers.
“But I think after a few meetings and emails, we have come to a conclusion to make this work.
“It was something that I was passionate about for officers to keep us in touch.
“It is vitally important to me that if there are real objections that we need to know those as they go through the process.”
The amendments will also mean ward councillors who ask for the Plans Committee to look at an application will be expected to be present to give direct comments. Where this is not possible a substitute can be named to take their place.
The changes can be viewed here http://www.charnwood.gov.uk/committees/the_council