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    Development Control

    Development control is the part of the planning system that makes sure that all proposed development meets the requirements for that location laid down in the plan.

    Everyone proposing to develop land or buildings must submit a planning application if the proposal meets a certain level of importance. Some minor proposals that conform to existing plans do not require a planning application. Planning authorities always try to grant permission for development unless there are good reasons to refuse it.

    Planners are ready to discuss proposals before they are turned into formal applications and, as a result, most planning applications are successful. In the case of a refusal of permission, the reasons for refusal must be based upon approved plans and policies and be communicated to the applicant, who has a right to appeal against the decision.

    The councillors or council officers who decide your application must consider whether there are any good planning reasons for refusing planning permission or for granting permission subject to conditions.

    The council cannot reject a proposal simply because many people oppose it. It will look at whether your proposal is consistent with the development plan for the area. The kinds of planning issue it can also consider include potential traffic problems, the effect on amenity (the glossary contains a definition of this term) and the impact the proposal may have on the appearance of the surrounding area.

    By contrast, moral issues, the personal circumstances of the applicant or the effect the development might have on nearby property prices are not relevant to planning. Only very rarely would planners be able to take account of an applicant’s personal circumstances.

    You are entitled to inspect the development plan and should contact the council if you wish to do this. There may also be associated design guidance for the area where you live.