Peer support Public Developers revising plans after the date for public submissions has passed

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Graham 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #2108

    Clare Symonds
    Participant

    We have had a query come in from Aberdeenshire from a community who are frustrated by the fact that that a developer is revising their planning application for housing as part of the planning application process but that this is after the period that the public can comment on the application. We have suggested that their most viable strategy at this stage is to get the opportunity to speak at the Area committee. The second part to this strategy is to try and get some councillors on board with the community’s concerns. At the committee the person speaking needs to concisely and clearly set out the community’s objections to the original versus revised drawings. But it’s key to focus on the specific application issues – not to raise concerns with the process as (unfortunately again) it’s not the time to do that. Given that there is usually a very limited time limit, the main objective is to get councillors to have the concerns in mind when they discuss/ decide on the application. It’s a tricky game, but probably the community’s only option at this stage. We are interested to hear from anyone else with this kind of experience and how they handled it?

  • #2109

    Graham
    Participant

    Just to clarify, the ability for applicants to revise parts of their application is provided in Circular 3/2013: Development Management Procedures. This may be at the request of the planners who want further details (4.61) or by the applicant who wishes to make changes (4.63). According to the circular, revisions are to be within parameters that the planning officers deem acceptable (although this is undefined) to the original application. Should the deviations be greater than the officer’s parameters, changes can be refused and a new application required.

    Due to the discretionary nature of how and what planners would categorise ‘substantial changes’ means that this is probably open to varying degrees of interpretation. It would be interesting to find out of people have been able to comment on revisions beyond the statutory consultation period – perhaps through direct communication with the officer? Please let us know.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  Graham.
  • #2116

    Donald
    Participant

    Originally determined as a STRATEGIC application, the Tesco proposal at Castle Douglas involved a petrol station, but as the first of two public meetings held by the council progressed, the petrol station was seen by the applicant to be a hurdle, so on the hoof this aspect was withdrawn despite officer advice at the start of the meeting to elected members that they had to decide whether to approve or reject on the merits of the whole application, not pick and choose what they liked or disliked. When Tesco made this change, the public had no opportunities to consider or comment on the revised application. The officers deemed this a competent way to proceed. This way, the applicant was still able to get approval for a large supermarket which would otherwise have been rejected or stalled, in spite of a major conflict of interest as a result of the officer commissioning of so called ‘independent’ planning consultant GVA Grimley to report on retail capacity of the town, a firm which also acted for the applicant.

  • #2117

    Graham
    Participant

    Hi Donald. Thanks very much for your post. With regard to the potential conflict of interest issue, I was just wondering if you (or others) have ever considered doing a Freedom of Information request to the council asking them to clarify their tendering and decision-making process about why they took GVA Grimley on as consultants?

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