Walmer Parish Council’s Planning Committee meets every three weeks through the year to consider all planning applications within the parish and also those in surrounding areas which may have an impact on Walmer in areas such as traffic congestion. Applications could be work to trees that are under a Tree Preservation Order or could be building works of all sizes and descriptions from outline planning permission to an estate of new builds or small modifications to a listed property. The Committee also considers matters relating to the planning process at National, County and District level affecting the Parish.
All applications have a notice placed near the property by Dover District Council, informing residents and interested parties of the proposed work. Walmer Parish Council posts a link to all applications that will be considered at each planning meeting on their website and interested parties for or against any application are welcome to attend and give their views in person via Zoom or post a comment on DDC’s planning website.
At each Walmer Planning Committee meeting the public is welcomed and invited to speak. During the current restrictions, applicants are reminded that good clear plans and clear photographs are a vital tool in assessing applications of all types as visits to properties cannot currently be made. In normal times all members of the planning committee aim to visit all sites to familiarize themselves with the location and the adjacent properties that could be affected by the works proposed. Such visits by Councillors will need either the owner, architect or agent present to help inform a comprehensive and fair assessment of the application.
The Planning Clerk will communicate, in writing, to the Local Planning Authority the Committee’s decision in respect of applications considered and this is then placed on the District Council planning portal for consideration by the District Council Officers and Planning Committee who will make the final decision.
Although the final decision rests with the Planning Authority, Walmer Parish Council is a Statutory Consultee and the responses must be taken into account by the Planning Authority when considering an application.
To help us to consider each application properly Walmer Parish Council has also appointed two specialists, a Conservation Warden and a Tree Warden.
DOVER DISTRICT COUNCIL PLANNING GUIDELINES - WHAT IS CAPABLE OF BEING A MATERIAL CONSIDERATION
* Road Safety – parking/traffic/adequacy of roads
* Potential disturbance to neighbours/locality
* Impact on character of surroundings – bulk, scale, appearance etc. and relationship to context
* Nature conservation interests – habitats/bats/badgers, slow worms
* Effect on character or appearance of a Conservation Area or setting of a listed building
* Planning history – including appeals
* Change of planning circumstances if a renewal application
* Draft Plans – according to progress and any conflict with Development Plan
* Government PPG’s, Circulars and Ministerial statements
* Statutory planning designations e.g.. AONB, SSSI, Green Belt
* Amenity and privacy of dwellings/gardens
* Noise contamination and other forms of pollution
* Availability of parking
* Economic considerations e.g. jobs/community benefits
* Tourism considerations
* Countryside – landscape/solitude
* Retail impact
* Timing and prematurity
* Flooding – river/coastal
* Trees and hedgerows
* Loss of open space/playing fields
WHAT IS NOT A MATERIAL CONSIDERATION
* The number of objections received
* Loss of a private view
* Infringements of ancient rights to light
* Breach of a covenant attached to land
* Fear a property may be devalued
* Businessman’s fear of competition
* Unproven fear of what might happen
* Political reasons
* Moral objections e.g. to betting/amusement arcades
* Informal opinion of a Planning Officer
* Matters subject to statutory control e.g. Building Regulations
* Private rights of way/land ownership
* Personalities – popular or unpopular
Planning Sustainable Energy of Planning Applications Leaflet produced by Walmer Parish Council