These are the 4 stages to stop a planning application and where the Redrow application is up to:
1. Planning Officer
An application is assigned a case officer at Flintshire County Council. Their job is to assess all the planning matters affecting it and whether it is compliant with policy and 'sustainable'. Our job is to explain which policies we believe it does not comply with and why, and also what harm will be done to the community or infrastructure if the application goes ahead. When the planning officer has reviewed the case, including public comments and consultations with statutory bodies, then they make a recommendation to approve or refuse the application.
REDROW CASE - The planning officer has recommended REFUSAL
HAWARDEN ROAD CASE - The planning officer is expected to recommend approval
2. Planning Committee
The planning committee sit once a month and review applications. They receive all the paperwork and are trained in planning policy but they elected representatives and not planning professionals. They must take advice from the planning officer and the legal officer on each case. They listen to the planning officer's recommendation and then vote on whether they agree with it. Our job is to lobby each of the committee members to persuade them that, irrespective of what the planning officer recommends, the application should be refused. Sometime the committee will go against the officer, but not often.
REDROW CASE - The planning committee are coming to Chester Road on Monday 10th April10:00am and they will vote on Wednesday 12th April 1:00pm at County Hall - you can attend both of these. It is not guaranteed that they will follow the officers' recommendation.
If an application is refused, the applicant can appeal the decision. In Wales that means it goes to Welsh Government where an independent inspector is assigned the case. The inspector is a planning professional and they will review all the case notes, national and local policies, including public comments and the views of the statutory bodies. The will then decide whether to uphold the decision of the committee or override them and approve the application (this happened recently in Higher Kinnerton). Sometimes they will approve with some conditions attached. Where there are more than 150 houses in the development, the case automatically goes before the Welsh Minister for consideration. Inspectors should reach the same conclusion as the original case officer but that is not guaranteed.
REDROW - We have been lobbying the Welsh Minister, our Assembly Member and met with planning officers from Cardiff to state our case.
4. Local Development Plan
Assuming a planning application has been refused after an appeal, there is still a risk that the site could be brought forward with another application, as long as the detail has changed sufficiently.
REDROW - The land is a candidate site in the Local Development Plan and if it were adopted then the application could be resubmitted as it is.
So we are preparing a Community Development Plan which sets out how we want the village to grow in the next 13 years - we will be sharing the first draft in the coming weeks and we need the support of the whole village to make sure that any development we have is proportionate to the size of the village.