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Telephone: 01276 471675

Email: clerk@windleshampc.gov.uk

Planning

The Role of Surrey Heath Borough Council

The Planning process is managed by Surrey Heath Borough Council who receives, assesses and approves/rejects planning applications. The Parish Council are consulted on all planning applications within the Parish and can formally object to applications and has done so on a frequent basis. The Parish Council has a planning committee which is open to the public and we welcome residents to attend and voice their concerns about specific planning applications.

Surrey Heath Borough Council have for some time been preparing their long term Local Plan which sets out their 20 year proposals for the area including the provision for additional house building. The Local Plan deals with strategic issues leaving detailed issues largely to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Inevitably this means that many detailed issues become a matter of subjective opinion, for instance is the development in character, too dense, too close to existing properties etc. These are typically the type of issues that concern residents and form the basis of our formal objections to planning applications.

The Role of the Parish Council

The Parish Council is not a Planning Authority and therefore does not determine planning applications.

However the Parish Council is formally consulted by Surrey Heath Borough Council on all planning applications within the Parish.

For further details on the role of the Parish Council on planning matters, please read about the Parish Council Planning Committee below.

The Neighbourhood Plan

In order to avoid the apparent “Planning Decision Lottery” the Parish Council has for the last year or so been working alongside Windlesham residents to develop a Neighbourhood Plan which will contain detailed policies to deal with many of the issues that have given rise to historical objections. Once in place the Neighbourhood Plan policies will have a significant influence on decisions made by Surrey Heath Borough Council.

The Parish Council meets regularly with the Ward councillors to brief them on local issues and to explore how we can work more closely together to represent community views. Local Government is designed to be a “bottom up” structure where elected Councillors are in touch with their local communities and represent these views in decision making forums. It is therefore important that as well as letting the Parish Council know about issues of concern that residents contact their Ward Councillors and ask them to lend their support, this is particularly true of planning issues.

The Parish Council Planning Committee

The Planning Committee usually meets about every month but this depends on how many planning applications are received from the Surrey Heath Borough Council planning department. The Parish Planning Committee meetings are held in public. The date of each meeting is posted on the website and on the information board outside the Council Offices in Lightwater. 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 scheduled 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 made available on the SHBC website and are studied in detail. All committee decisions are based on material planning considerations which can be viewed here.

The Committee agrees a comment and this is posted directly onto the SHBC website.

Most applications are fairly straightforward and they have a comment posted of ‘no objection’. If the Committee does not agree with the application we state ‘objection’ and set out the reasons why.

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 three villages where necessary.

How to find out the status of Planning Applications

To view planning applications please click here to go to the Surrey Heath Borough Council website. You will need some details about the planning application in order to conduct a search.
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