The Parish Council Planning Applications Committee
The Parish Council is not a Planning Authority and therefore does not determine planning applications. However the Parish Council is formally consulted by Welwyn Hatfield Council on all planning applications within the Parish. The Parish Council considers all applications as set out below
The Planning Committee usually meets about every two weeks but this depends on how many planning applications are received from the Welwyn Hatfield Council planning department. The Parish Planning Committee comprises 5 Councillors and its meetings are held in public. The date of each meeting is posted on the website and on the information board in Cuffley village. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and make representations, especially if the particular application affects them; all comments made are listened to by the Committee and if the comments are relevant they may be included in the Council’s online reply.
All planning applications are given a time limit for the Parish Council to respond; hence our meetings are approximately every two weeks to keep in line with the deadlines given.
The areas we look at
The applications are processed in date order of the deadline date. Plans are downloaded from WHBC website and any plans we think relevant are printed off on A3 paper so they can be studied in detail. Some of the areas the Committee looks at are:
- The proximity to neighbouring boundaries.
- Design of the application against other properties in the area.
- Street scene (how it will look from the street it is in).
- Scale of the design.
- Suitability of the proposed use
- Impact on the Greenbelt
- Topography, and in some cases any tree preservation orders.
The Committee agrees a comment and this is posted directly onto the WHBC website.
Most applications are fairly straightforward and they have a comment posted of ‘The PC has no objection’. If the Committee does not agree with the application we state that ‘The PC objects’ and set out the reasons why. If the Parish Council formally objects to any application this results in that application being considered by Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Planning Committee rather than being processed by officers under delegated powers.
Typically when an application is heard by Welwyn Hatfield’s full committee a Parish Councillor presents the Parish Council’s objections and other objectors are also entitled to make verbal representations to the Committee. The ability of the Parish Council to force any application to be considered by Welwyn Hatfield’s full planning committee is an important feature of the process and through public representations to the Parish Council local objectors can influence both the Parish Council and Borough Council.
We don’t have the power to refuse or grant applications
Although the Parish Council’s Planning Committee does not have the power to refuse or grant any applications we are able through the process to make a difference for our two villages where necessary.
How to find out the status of Planning Applications
You need to go to the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council website and look on the “View or track an application page”. Click on the button below to go to that page. You will need some details about the planning application in order to conduct a search. Clicking on the button below will take you to a new website.