The role of the Town Council:
The Town Council's Planning and Licensing Committee meets on a Tuesday evening, approximately every three weeks, to review Planning Applications that have been advertised on the three Fridays prior to the meeting by the Local Planning Authority (Arun District Council). The agendas for all meetings are published on the Town Council's noticeboards, located in Aldwick Road, Hawthorn Road, Orchard Way and outside of the Town Hall in Clarence Road, whilst also being available on our website - see here.
All meetings of the Planning and Licensing Committee are open to the general public. At each meeting there is an adjournment for public question time and statements giving members of the public an opportunity to air their views on specific Planning Applications and to hear the discussions and the decisions made by the Committee (i.e. whether or not to object to a particular Planning Application) and the reasons for this. Members of the public are also encouraged to contact the Town Council (either the Clerk or a member of the Planning Committee) if they have a concern or query about a particular Planning Application - contact details for members of the Planning and Licensing Committee can be found here.
The Town Council is a statutory consultee on all Planning Applications within the five Wards of Bognor Regis. This means that the Town Council must be consulted by the Local Planning Authority (Arun District Council) before coming to a decision. The responsibility for making decisions on the applications rests with Arun District Council. Some decisions may be delegated to Planning Officers whilst the District Council's Development Control Committee will determine other Planning Applications, particularly those where there may be public interest and a large number of representations are received.
Members of the public are able, by prior arrangement and agreement with Arun District Council, to speak for or against an application. Development Control Committee Meetings are generally held in the Council Chamber at Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton on a regular basis and are advertised on the District Council's website: www.arun.gov.uk. (click on the 'Planning' tab).
What you can do if you wish to object or comment on a Planning Application:
The following notes are issued by the Town Council as guidance for members of the public. Further guidance is available on Arun District Council's planning website.
- The key purpose of planning is to control development in the public interest.
- Arun District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, must take decisions on behalf of the whole community. They must make decisions openly, fairly and with sound judgement.
- Letters of objection can only be considered on 'material planning grounds' (see list below).
- Whilst views of local residents are always considered, local opposition or support on its own is not a reason for refusing or granting permission.
- Statements of Planning Policy (PPSs) are issued by Government and set out material planning considerations that the Local Planning Authority must take into account when reaching planning decisions.
- In addition to the above, the Local Planning Authority must also consider other Government policies issued in technical documents and ministerial statements.
- Previous court decisions must also be considered and taken into account.
Set out below are the 'material planning grounds' that Arun District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, can consider when determining applications:
- Parking and servicing in relation to traffic flow for deliveries.
- Access and highway safety, including access for emergency vehicles.
- Traffic generation - increased traffic movements arising from the proposed development.
- Overlooking and loss of privacy.
- Privacy/overbearing nature of the proposal.
- Design and appearance.
- Visual impact.
- Layout and density of buildings (over-development).
- Noise, nuisance and disturbance from the scheme.
- Loss of trees.
- Loss of ecological habitat.
- Flood risk.
- Loss of public visual amenity - not the same as loss of private individuals view.
- Risk of increased crime.
- Economic impact.
- Planning history/related decisions.
The following is a list of issues that cannot normally be considered:
- Loss of view or value to private individual property.
- Private rights of way.
- Land ownership.
- Age, health, status, background and work patterns of those objecting or supporting.
- Disruption during the building phase.
- Time taken to carry out the work.
- Damage to property.
- Possible change in property value.
- Competition (Business).
- The applicants personal conduct or history.
- The applicants motives.
- Potential profit for the applicant arising from the application.
- Private covenants or agreements
- Boundary disputes
- Capacity of private drains/sewers.
- “Better” site or “better” use.
NB: The examples listed above are definitive but not comprehensive and are a guide to assist in the preparation of letters or statements of support or opposition.