The following two links provide guidance for viewing or commenting on planning applications in Somerset West and Taunton:
Find a planning application – Links for the Council’s planning portals where planning applications, comments and decisions are posted (currently these are still split between those for the former Taunton Deane and West Somerset district areas).
What we can consider – Council guide to ‘material planning considerations’ that can be taken into account when comments on applications are considered.
The following links provide further information for those who wish to have a greater understanding of the planning process.
SWT Planning Committee – Information on the committee membership and meetings. Most planning application decisions are delegated to officers. The Planning Committee normally only decides applications considered to be significant, controversial or sensitive and those where conflicting views or objections (giving clear planning reasons) have been submitted by a Town or Parish Council or by a Ward Councillor as well as from not less than 4 individuals. It can be helpful to view reports and meeting minutes on previous applications to see how the process works.
Local planning policy – Local policies that apply to planning applications. To judge compliance, a balanced approach is taken based on the relative weight of various policy considerations, which can make the process difficult to predict and understand. The adopted Local Plan and associated documents are particularly important.
National Planning Policy Framework – This sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these should be applied. It provides a framework within which locally-prepared plans for housing and other development can be produced.
SWT Council Constitution – This includes Terms of Reference for the Planning Committee, Councillor Code of Conduct and Code of Good Practice.
Probity in planning – Advice for councillors and officers making planning decisions.