The Planning Authority covering Sturminster Newton is Dorset Council. Decisions are made by the Dorset Council’s Development Management Committee.

Householder developments and other small developments are usually decided by Planning Officers under delegated powers from the Development Management Committee, unless they are contentious. If ten or more objections are received about a planning application or if five or more objections are received and the Town Council also objects, the application will automatically go to the full Development Management Committee for a decision. Ward Councillors can also request a referral to the Development Management Committee under certain circumstances.

Sturminster Newton Town Council is a consultee; it does not have the power to make decisions about planning applications. The Town Council’s Planning Committee considers and comments on all applications in the Sturminster Newton parish and any applications in neighbouring areas which may impact on Sturminster Newton.

All Town Councillors are members of the Town Council’s Planning Committee.

It should be noted that whilst Dorset Council does not have to agree with Town Council recommendations, it does have to consider the Town Council’s views, which are quoted in the Officers’ reports to Dorset Council's Development Management Committee.

Material planning considerations include: 


Traffic generation, highway safety and parking
Overshadowing, overlooking and loss of privacy
Noise, disturbance or other loss of amenities
Relevant planning policies

Effect on trees
Design e.g. height/bulk/position of buildings, appearance, effect on the surrounding area
Inadequate landscaping/means of enclosure

If consent is granted for a development, this does not grant any rights to obstruct others during construction, nor any right to store building plant or materials on land outside the property, including public land such as road verges. The following would not normally be valid planning considerations:

Loss of property value
Issues of market competition
Loss of a view
The applicant’s motives, character or personal circumstances
Matters covered by other legislation, including restrictive covenants on land

Issues relating to land ownership/property boundaries, including the need to access land to undertake development
Moral or religious issues
Issues relating to the construction of a development
The reasons why a developer is making the application or their activities elsewhere