We play a significant role in shaping the district through our planning powers. We make sure new development is sustainable; taking account of economic, social, and environmental issues.
Our planning functions can be grouped into the following categories:
The government is clear that councils should make development plans setting out the council’s vision for the district and delivery objectives. The main development plan document for our district is the Canterbury district Local Plan. The policies in the Local Plan are the legal tools with which we can manage growth and change to make sure new development is sustainable.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how they should be applied. The NPPF must be taken into account in preparing the Local Plan and is a material consideration in planning decisions.
Development proposals in planning applications should be considered against the policies in the Local Plan. The law says:
“...determination is to be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.”
When we review planning applications we look at whether the proposed development is in line with the policies in the Local Plan (and any other development plan document that we have), and if it would contribute to the objectives and vision for the future of the district.
We have discretionary powers to take action against development that has been carried out without planning permission where harm is caused to the local area and we conclude that it is practical and in the public interest to rectify the breach.