The Planning Committee is a consultee, not a decision maker. We are responsible for considering and making comments on applications received from Somerset Council (SC). The Committee principally focuses on:
- Major planning issues
- Actively engaging with and even search out developers who will work with Frome Town Council in advance of any formal planning application
- Maximise the use of the Neighbourhood Plan and Town Design Statement
- The Planning Committee will also support local residents affected by inappropriate development proposals and closely monitor decisions made by Somerset Council
How does the Committee operate?
Once a consultation has been received from SC, we have 21 days to respond, in some cases where necessary we will ask for an extension. To keep to the 21 day deadline, the Planning Committee meet every three weeks. Five days in advance of the meeting you will be able to see which applications are on the list for that meeting.
In advance of the meeting the Chair and Clerk of the Planning Committee will consider which applications to discuss, these are usually applications that will have a wider impact than just the immediate neighbours e.g. the creation of a new convenience store. However any member of the Planning Committee or person at the meeting can request that any application is discussed.
What does the Planning Committee consider when looking at applications?
We will look at the material considerations and also list ‘non-material’ concerns to ensure that the Planning Officer is aware of local issues. We also actively support applications that are of benefit to the community and those that demonstrate good design, quality and eco solutions.
What is a material consideration?
A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision.
Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):
- Overlooking, loss of privacy, loss of light or overshadowing
- Parking, highway safety and traffic
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
- Layout and density of building
- Design, appearance and materials
- Government policy
- Disabled persons’ access
- Proposals in the Development Plan
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
- Nature conservation
However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations.
Can I speak at a Planning Committee meeting?
Yes, anyone can either object to a planning application or support one and we welcome applicants and agents to come and talk about their applications. This does not necessarily mean that the Planning Committee will support your views as they will consider the interests of the local community as a whole.
The Town Council welcomes and encourages residents and developers to talk to them prior to submitting a planning application. If you have any questions about planning, please come and talk to us. If we can help we will, if not we can point you in the right direction.
Agendas, documents and minutes can be viewed by selecting the relevant upcoming or past meeting or from the Meetings Calendar for older items.