The Planning Process
Stage 3: Application consideration
Once an application has been validated and registered it will be allocated to a case officer who will assess the application.
Consultations on applications
Consultations on applications are carried out to make sure that people who may be affected are aware of the application and have an opportunity to comment.
National planning legislation sets out the requirements for publishing and consulting on planning (and other) applications. We will consult in accordance with the legislative requirements, as a minimum.
Different types of applications require different methods of publication. In summary we will carry out some or all of the following:
- Publish all valid applications on the Council’s website
- Write to the owner/occupier of properties directly adjoining the application site
- Place a site notice or notices on or close to the site
- Publish an application in the local newspaper
Depending on the application and proposed development we are also required to consult with several statutory bodies (eg Historic England, Leicestershire County Council) and we will usually consult the local Parish or Town Council.
For a detailed breakdown of consultations you can read our Statement of Community Involvement, which outlines how communities can be involved with the planning process and planning decisions in Harborough District. You can also read more about national planning consultation requirements here.
Although we consult with specific people/consultees anyone can comment on a planning application. Consultee comments will be publicly available on our Planning Online, you can find more information and make comments on planning applications here.
The consultation period will normally last for at least 21 days, however, we will accept comments up until the decision is made. We cannot make a decision on an application until the consultation period has ended. The earlier you make a comment the more time you allow us to consider and action any points.
During or after the consultation period the case officer will carry out a site visit. The case officer will normally carry out the site visit unaccompanied, but in some cases will contact you or your agent to arrange this.
Please note the case officer will not normally discuss the merits of your application with you on site.
Assessing your application
All applications are then assessed against the adopted policies of the development plan which includes:
- Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031
- Leicestershire Minerals and Waste Local Plan to 2031
- Any ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans
Our main focus is on the application’s compliance with planning policy. However, we also take into account material considerations which includes:
- Supplementary Planning Guidance
- Site specific factors (such as access and design)
- Comments received during the consultation period
Amendments to applications prior to determination
In some circumstances the case officer may request amendments, or additional information for the proposed development. There is no statutory requirement to accept revisions and they will be requested and accepted at the case officer’s discretion and where time allows.
There will be a set time period in which to provide amended information, usually within very specific timeframes. If substantial amendments are required to make the proposal acceptable you will instead be offered the opportunity to withdraw the application, use our pre-application service and resubmit it in an amended form.
If you yourself wish to make any changes to your application prior to determination (however minor), you should contact your Case Officer who will be able to advise you on the best approach. Please note that any changes to your application may result in delays.
Where amendments are made prior to determination, it will be at the discretion of the case officer whether any or further consultation is needed. The following factors may be taken into consideration:
- Are the proposed changes significant?
- Did earlier views cover the issues raised by the proposed change/s?
- Were objections or reservations raised in the original consultation stage substantial enough to justify further publicity?
- Are the issues raised by the proposed change/s likely to be of concern to parties not previously notified?
If it is decided to re-consult, a timeframe of no more than 14 days will usually be set in order to balance the needs of consultees with the need for timely and efficient decision making.
Checking the progress of your planning application
Whilst we will try to keep you updated it is your responsibility to check the progress of your application.
- View information regarding the progress of a planning application such as important dates and consultee comments on our website Planning Online.
- Contact the Case Officer for an update, their contact details are available on your registration letter