Chesterton Planning Application - Frequently Asked Questions

Chesterton (Planning Ref: 16/00054/OUT) - Frequently Asked Questions

How will the Council’s consideration of the outline planning application fit with its Local Plan process?

The landowner has opted to submit the outline planning application in advance of the Local Plan examination and adoption. For an application of this scale and strategic importance, it is not unusual that it is submitted before the Local Plan is finalised. The Council will review the planning application in parallel with its ongoing work on the Local Plan.  The Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee will subsequently consider the planning application, taking into account all material considerations including the emerging Local Plan.  Progress on the Local Plan will be reviewed on a regular basis to assess the appropriate decision-making weight that ought to be attached to relevant emerging Local Plan policies (e.g. the site allocation policy) as and when the application is determined.

When will the application be reported to the Planning Committee?

The application will eventually be determined by the Council’s Planning Committee.  Given the scale and complexity of the proposals, and their importance to the Local Plan process, it is not envisaged that the planning application will be reported to the Planning Committee until the autumn of 2016 at the earliest.  This will allow officers time to consult upon and carefully review the application proposals before reporting them to the Planning Committee.  It will also allow time for the ongoing Local Plan work to progress.  The timetable for determination of the application will be subject to ongoing review.  When a Committee date is known, the details will be published on our website.

How has the application been publicised?

The application has been advertised in the local newspaper (Wilts and Glos Standard) and there have been a number of site notices displayed close to the application site and close to the proposed highways works.

The Council is only required to send neighbour notifications to land owners adjoining the site. However, we have decided to extend our normal notifications in this exceptional case and, to follow a consistent approach, we have chosen to consult those within 50m of the site boundary and within 20m of the proposed highways works.

Note: You can comment on the application without having received a notification letter.

Who has been consulted?

A list of the neighbours and external consultees will appear with the application documentation online via the Council’s online Planning Register (also known as Public Access).

Why are there two site notices/neighbour letters?

The application has been accompanied by an Environmental Statement which requires a site notice as does the fact that the application is a departure from the Local Plan. It would not have been possible to put all of the relevant wording on one A4 site notice/letter.

What is an Environmental Statement?

An Environmental Statement (ES) comprises the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

An EIA is required for certain types of planning applications, mainly those of a large scale such as the Chesterton application. The aim of Environmental Impact Assessment is to protect the environment by ensuring that a local planning authority - when deciding whether to grant planning permission for a project which is likely to have significant effects on the environment - does so in the full knowledge of the likely significant effects, and takes this into account in the decision making process. The “environment” does not just include the physical environment and biodiversity but also includes social, cultural and economic aspects. For further guidance please:

Where can I get copies of the planning application?

We do not provide hard copies of the application. There will be a copy of the application and ES at the CDC offices at Trinity Road that can be viewed by members of the public.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide copies of the ES, and copies can be obtained directly from the applicant’s planning agent (Savills). There is no charge for a version on disc but there will be a £500 charge for a paper copy due to the production costs. Please contact Dawn Brodie for copies by:

How long have I got to make comments?

The statutory time period for the submission of comments is 21 days but we have allowed a 6 week period in this exceptional case -i.e. until Thursday 3 March. This is not a “cut-off date” and comments will be accepted up to the point of issuing the decision. However it helps us to have comments submitted within a defined timescale in case there are any queries or points are raised which require further information or clarification.

How can I comment online?

Please comment using:

Please read the guidance notes at the above link. Please be aware that the system will 'time out' after about 30 minutes so if you are drafting a long statement we advise that you compose it in a word document and then cut and paste it into the website.

You do not have to register to make online comments, but we recommend that you do if you would like to track the application.

Will my letter/email be acknowledged?

The Council’s online Planning Register service will automatically send a response to comments made online. We will not be acknowledging any letters or emails.

We will endeavour to display letters/emails within 48 hours of their receipt. If your letter/email hasn’t appeared online by then, please contact Customer Services.

Does the Council listen to comments raised?

The Council does listen, but regard can only be had to material planning considerations. We cannot take into account comments such as the loss of value of a dwelling or the loss of a private view.

Material considerations can include (but are not limited to): Local and national planning polices; overlooking/loss of privacy; loss of light or overshadowing; parking; highway safety; traffic; noise; impact on the setting of heritage assets; layout, design; Government policy; disabled persons' access; previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions); and nature conservation.

As there are so many documents, where do I start to understand the application?

Although we cannot advise you on what you might consider to be important to you personally, the applicant’s Planning Statement and Design and Access Statement provide a useful overview and starting point regarding their proposals.

Can I see what other people have said about the application?

We will be publishing third party and consultation responses on the online Planning Register. Paper copies of responses will also be kept on the working file, but you will need to give 24 hours notice to Customer Services (01285 623000) if you wish to view those files.

Will I be notified of amended plans?

We will take a proportionate approach to re-consulting on any amended plans, and may only re-consult those who would be affected by any amendments.

If you have registered for the Council’s online Planning Register, you can track the application.

To track the application:

  1. Register for the Planning Register service if you haven’t done so already.
  2. View the application using the reference number
  3. On the summary page, click on “track”. You will be asked to log in if you haven’t done so already.
  4. Please note that tracking the application will only provide email alerts regarding a change to the status of an application.

What happens if the application is refused?

The applicant has a right to appeal the decision. The Council will notify anyone who has commented on the application of the appeal.

What happens if the application is approved?

Following the granting of outline permission, which does not cover detailed issues such as the final siting of houses, their size, etc., the applicant would have to apply at a later stage for consideration of those details under “reserved matters” applications for landscaping, external appearance, scale and layout. It is expected that the reserved matters applications would come in for parcels of the site at a time.

Before development can commence on site, the applicant would have to formally comply with conditions attached to the outline and reserved matters applications.

If the application is approved, how much weight will the site layout plan have?

The layout of the development would be a matter for future consideration. The layout plan that has been submitted is illustrative only and has been submitted to demonstrate that 2,350 dwellings, employment land, public open space and landscaping can, in principle, all be fitted into the site. The illustrative site plan would not be an approved plan. However the parameter plans (max building heights, green infrastructure, land use and access plans) would be conditioned.

Will the development be phased?

It is envisaged that, should planning permission be granted, development would not commence until 2018 and would be phased and would be built over the new Local Plan period (i.e. up to 2031). The application includes an indicative phasing plan (see page 186 of the Design and Access Statement). Some infrastructure works may, however, need to be provided in the first phase of development. A detailed phasing plan would be a condition attached to the outline planning permission.

What is a Section 106 Legal Agreement?

A Section 106 agreement is a legal agreement between the developer and Council (in this instance the main parties will be Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council). In some instances, town/parish councils can be a party to a Section 106.

A Section 106 agreement seeks to secure the delivery of social and physical infrastructure to support the development as well as securing mitigation.

Further guidance can be found at:

http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/guidance/planning-obligations/planning-obligations-guidance/

How is an application “called in” by the Secretary of State?  

From : https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-applications-called-in-decisions-and-recovered-appeals

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has the power to take over (‘call in’) planning applications rather than letting the local authority decide. [The Planning Committee still considers the application and makes a “minded-to” decision.] The Secretary of state will normally only do this if the application conflicts with national policy in important ways, or is nationally significant.

He or she has to take published government policy into account when deciding whether or not to call in a planning application, and when making the decision. If the secretary of state decides to call in a planning application, an inspector is appointed to carry out an inquiry into the proposal. The secretary of state has to take the inspector’s findings into account when making the decision.

Planning appeals can also be ‘recovered’ for decision by ministers. A recovered appeal is one where instead of an inspector making the decision, he or she will write a report that will make a recommendation on how the appeal should be determined. This will then be passed to the secretary of state to make the decision, taking into account the inspector’s recommendation.

What do the 'new details' submitted in October relate to?

There is a covering letter from the applicant’s agent setting out the new details and we recommend that this is read first.

The new details include amended parameter plans. The maximum ridge heights of the buildings have been lowered in some parts of the site and the position of the high pressure gas pipeline has been corrected. The plans also include indicative locations for additional play areas and open space parcels within development blocks. The Design and Access Statement and Green Infrastructure Strategy have been amended and they expand upon these changes.

The new details also include new or amended information required for the Environmental Statement. This information is mainly of a technical nature and relates to heritage, landscape and visual impact, construction and operational impacts, soils, ground conditions and drainage and flood risk.

To make it easier to locate the new details on the online Planning Register, and to identify the information that is being superseded, we have re-titled many of the documents that were submitted with the application in January 2016. The Environmental Statement has been split up into individual chapters.

Who has been consulted on the new details?

We have taken a proportionate approach to public re-consultation and we have sent letters to those living/working within 50m of the boundary of the application site.

Those who have registered to track the application via the online Planning Register will receive an automatic alert informing them that new details have been posted.

We have also erected new sites notices (with different coloured paper to distinguish them from the notices put up in January) and the application has been advertised in the Wilts and Glos Standard.

How long is the consultation period?

The consultation period is 21 days from Thursday 20 October (i.e. until Thursday10 November). However, as we have previously advised, this date is not a 'cut-off' and we will still accept comments after that date.

Will previous third party comments still be taken into account?

Yes, previous third party comments will still be taken into account and there is no need to re-submit them.

What do the 'new details' submitted in November relate to?

There is a covering letter from the applicant’s agent setting out the new details and we recommend that this is read first.

We have received a revised Transport Assessment and Travel Plan, along with additional ecological surveys and clarification regarding various biodiversity issues. Plans have been submitted showing the proposed improvements to off-site pedestrian/cycle links

The new details also include further clarification regarding air quality, noise and highways mitigation.

Who has been consulted on the new details?

We have taken a proportionate approach to public re-consultation and we have sent letters to those living/working within 50m of the boundary of the application site and 20m of the proposed highways /cycle/pedestrian improvement works.

Those who have registered to track the application via the online Planning Register will receive an automatic alert informing them that new details have been posted.

We have also displayed new sites notices (with different coloured paper to distinguish them from the notices erected in January and October) and the application has been advertised in the Wilts and Glos Standard.

How long is the consultation period?

The consultation period is 21 days from Thursday 24 November (i.e. until Thursday 15 December). However, as we have previously advised, this date is not a 'cut-off' and we will still accept comments after that date.

Will previous third party comments still be taken into account?

Yes, previous third party comments will still be taken into account and there is no need to re-submit them.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 1PX