Planning Applications – Town Council Responsibilities
The Planning Authority covering Sturminster Newton is North Dorset District Council. Decisions are made by the District 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 the District 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 the District Council's Development Management Committee.
In general the process at Sturminster Newton is as follows:
•Application details - plans, sketches and photos of the site - are received from the District Council. The Town Council adds the application(s) to the next Town Council Planning Committee agenda and the agenda is advertised in accordance with Local Government rules including on this website. To see the calendar of Council Meetings please click here•The application(s) are considered at the Town Planning Committee meeting. Members of the public may attend the meeting, and will be given an opportunity to address the committee prior to the start of the meeting. The Committee will agree comments and recommendations for submission to the District Council. These will be recorded in the meeting minutes.
There is sometimes confusion as to what are valid Planning considerations and what are not. For example, if residents complain that a proposed development would cause the value of their house to fall this would not be a valid planning consideration and could not be discussed by the Planning Committee.
Valid Planning considerations would include the following:
•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
To view comments made on planning applications by this Town Council or to look up full details of a planning application
Visit North Dorset District Council planning portal.