The Planning Department with its small friendly team deals with all planning applications including those for planning permission, listed building consent, advertisement consent and works to trees. On average around 100 applications are processed each year.
Because of the status of the islands as a Conservation Area, AONB and Heritage Coast. there are several Directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 which have removed the rights to carry out a range of works that could normally be done without requiring planning permission. The four Article 4 Directions can be viewed by navigating through to the Heritage, Conservation and Environment Section. All potential applicants/developers are therefore advised to contact the department before carrying out works, or submitting formal applications, in order to ascertain whether permission is required and whether a proposal is likely to be supported.
The Senior Manager for Infrastructure & Planning has delegated powers to determine planning related applications. Major applications and those relating to strategic decisions will require a committee decision and the Planing Protocol is being reviewed to make it clearer under what circumstances other applications can be called to committee by Members of Council. Applications requiring a committee decision will be determined at Full Council meetings which meet around once a month. The calendar of committee meetings can be found here. Information on the conduct of Officers and Members whilst handling applications can be found in the Planning Protocol which was recently and revised and updated as of 2018.
Because of the need for neighbour notifications, statutory consultations with external bodies such as Historic England, Natural England and other organisations and time for consideration by officers, you should allow 8 weeks to get a decision on your planning application (this does not include any pre or post application processes such as pre-application advice or discharge of conditions applications). A valid planning application including correct forms and fees (as prescribed by central Government), site plan, existing and proposed drawings and other documents required must be received before it can be registered as valid.
After around 4 weeks of an application being registered, it will be determined whether the application needs to go to Full Council or whether it can be determined under the delegated powers of the Senior Manager: Infrastructure & Planning. If your application is required to go to Full Council for a decision, it will go to the next available Full Council meeting following the consultation and consideration period (around 6 weeks from validation as a guide). Full Council meetings are held monthly on St Mary's, in the Old Wesleyan Chapel and they are live-stremed on YouTube. Whilst the public are permitted to attend, they are not permitted to speak at these meetings. The consideration process is the same regardless of the decision level and a decision will be issued within 8 weeks of validation in most cases unless otherwise agreed with you.