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: https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20101/planning_policy_and_the_local_plan/550/harrogate_district_local_plan_emerging
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 - https://www.planningportal.co.uk/.
The Borough Council website provides its own guide to planning applications - https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20012/planning_and_development.
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: https://uniformonline.harrogate.gov.uk/online-applications/
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.