Planning - A quick guide to the process

A simple guide to the planning process

We’ve tried to simplify what is a complicated and often confusing process. We'll update this section as needed.

The first things to understand are that:
The Parish Council has no planning powers. It is a statutory consultee along with members of the public.
The Parish Council can and will comment on applications when sent to them by the Borough Council.
However it can, like any member of the public, comment on applications outside the Parish boundary. In reality, the PC would only do this if there was a potential effect on the Parish – such as increased traffic, strain on the infrastructure etc.
Within this Parish Council, all planning applications when received are considered by the Planning Committee which normally meets before the monthly Parish Council meeting. Applications are included on agenda, published at least three working days in advance and the planning reference is public available for all to see, either on the Parish Council Notice Board or on line in the agenda and minutes section of the website. Residents can look at the agenda to view the applications under consideration and are free to attend the meetings.

Prior to the meeting, on receipt of the Agenda, the Planning Committee members will review the application using the link on the Agenda item to familiarise themselves with the details of the application and in particular to review any neighbour comments.

Once the Committee has made a recommendation, the Parish Clerk then reports to the Borough Council their comments which can be one of:
A. The Parish Council has no objections
B. The Parish Council objects on the planning grounds set out overleaf [here, we provide a statement as to why the Parish Council objects – and I has to be on “planning” grounds]
C The Parish Council does not object to or support the application but wishes to make comments or seek safeguards as set out overleaf [here we provide a statement to supporting this choice]
D. The Parish Council supports the application.

These comments are filed on the planning portal by the Borough Council's Planners.

Subsequently, we receive notification of the decision by the planners – this is then published on the planning portal.

The Borough Council works in a slightly different way.
Small applications – from household improvements, small scale developments and matters such as commercial signage – are dealt with by the planning officers who seek comments as described above.
Larger applications – such as Dunlopillo or the Rossett Green Lane application go through the same process (where the Parish Council has a voice along with members of the public) but the application is scrutinised by the Borough Council’s Planning committee.

The Borough Council’s Planning committee function is to either approve or reject planning applications in excess of 49 dwellings made to the Council by landowners or householders or if the development is deemed to be of such importance that the planners feel it should be considered by the committee. The best example of this is the Dunlopillo development where the threshold of 50 dwellings is exceeded.

The Local Plan is very different. The Local Plan process is about earmarking land allocations for housing and employment sites for the next 20 years and the Borough Council’s Planning Committee does not have any say in the development of the plan.

The Borough Council’s website give an indication of the various levels of consultations and consideration that goes into the Local Plan process – here:

For more general planning advice, there are some good reference sites:
For information on whether planning permission is required, this site provides a simple and easy to use guide -
The Borough Council website provides its own guide to planning applications -
To view the details of an application, you need the reference number (typically 17/12345 [year/with five digits] and put this into the search box on the applications portals here:

We hope that this guide will help to clarify what is a complex and often confusing process. If in doubt, contact the Parish Clerk for more information.

The Local Plan -The Parish Council's response to the Proposals

PN17 response
PN18 response
PN19 and PN20 response

The page will be updated as we go through the consultation process (see the next section for helpful reference documents)


We are shortly (as of 26th January 2018) to go into the "Public Consultation" phase of the local plan. In outline this means that from 26th January to 9th March HBC will conduct a public consultation of the proposals - to which, unless they have changed significantly - the PC, on behalf of the residents, will object.
To help us prepare our response to the public consultation, the PC has put out to tender for professional consultancy support. The tender action was approved at the 14th December PC Meeting and the tender document is shown here: Tender Document. The companies will be appointed according to the rules laid down in the PC's standing orders.
A subcommittee consisting of the PC's Chairman and Deputy Chairman will oversee the appointment and the subsequent work. The companies will be announced on this site and the work will begin.
The process for the Local plan is explained in the Tender document for those interested in reading it in outline.

More information will follow here when known

Harrogate Borough Council appears to have ignored all the objections to the Local Plan that the PC submitted in December 2016. They now, with the additional sites consultation, propose further building on agricultural land and the Crimple Valley Special Landscape Area – the vital green space that separates Pannal and Burn Bridge from Harrogate. They have ignored our protests that further housing and commercial development will create ever worse traffic congestion through both villages. Pannal and Burn Bridge has now been redesignated as a Primary Service Village as opposed to a Category B village in the current core strategy.

The latest version of the Harrogate Area Local Plan proposes even larger scale housing than before and there is added commercial development.

Following the consultation - from which few of us can see that any notice has been taken - the next stages are as follows:
16th November: the District Development Committee considered the proposals. There was little that came out of this for our residents.
On 29th November, the Cabinet discusses the plans. We will be lobbying hard on behalf of us all.
On 13th December the plans go in front of the Full Council at which our Councillors and members of the public can have their say.

In January 2018 the formal public consultation period begins. We will keep everyone up to date on how this works - when we find out.

The PC wishes to thank everyone who contributed to the responses and the drop in meetings were well attended. Everyone who is on the PC's newsletter list will receive updates when appropriate. If you are still not on the newsletter list, please let the parish clerk know -

Reference Documents

Below you'll find downloadable documents that were used to help comment or make your objections to the initial consultation phase of the Local Plan. We'll keep them here but add new information for when the next phase of consultation opens in January 2018.

The old documents below

Planning Response Leaflet that we delivered to all resident of the Parish. Please ensure you have responded by 11th August.
How to comment explains the three ways to respond to the proposals (in Word for you to copy and paste as needed). We have included below examples of objection letters and text that should be useful for you to download, use as a template and stimulate your ideas for objections. Please do not simply copy and paste the contents but use them to help you create your own arguments.
Please also read the two site assessments in the links below that help to understand whether the planned development sites are suitable or not - these documents will help you frame your arguments. They are quite long and complicated, but worth reading both of them carefully. Draft sustainability appraisal and Built and Natural Environment Assessments. Look at the Council's traffic light system in the first one which shows the effects of various criteria to help you to formulate and reinforce your objections - look for categories that are red or orange rather than green - focus your attention of the red and orange ones. HBC decided on these ratings so should abide by them. The following examples (which download as Word documents) should be useful especially when you've read the HBC assessments above.
Example A- general letter of objection PN19 Example B - environmental grounds Example C - testing the soundness of the local plan Example D - building a strong argument
We will keep adding to the list.

The effects on our community (in Word for you to use as you wish).
On line Portal guide The guide to Harrogate BC's on line portal.
Parish Map with proposed sites included and an illustration of the same area overlayed on an air photograph Air photo with overlay of PN18-19-20

As an additional source of information you might like to have a look at some other sites, shown below. Note: these are not endorsed by the Parish Council but they do provide a great deal of supporting information in a well presented way should you decide to object to the proposals. where there is a useful response guide. Contains very useful PN 17 (Spring Lane) specific information.