Horsham District Council is the planning authority for the area. Thakeham Parish Council is a statutory consultee in relation to all planning applications within the parish boundaries, and makes recommendations to the District Council. Where a Parish Council has objected the case is usually referred to the District Council Planning Committee. The Parish Council’s comments are factored into district-level decisions, but it is one opinion among many and may be over-ridden.
The parish’s Neighbourhood Planning Committee deals with planning matters. Members of this committee have been inducted in relation to planning law and guidance. The committee follows a formal protocol in considering applications and is expected to focus its comments on ‘material considerations’ as defined by relevant policy frameworks (national, district and the Parish’s own Neighbourhood Plan and Design Statement).
Planning applications are allocated to a lead member of the Neighbourhood Planning committee, who will seek to contact the applicant to look at the plans on site, ensure that intentions are understood, and may visit neighbours to gauge opinion. This process is not a legal requirement, nor is the applicant obliged to allow the Councillor on site, but it does help the parish to comment effectively on the application.
The lead Councillor(s) reports to the Neighbourhood Planning meeting at which the application is to be heard. All applications are publicly notified by publishing the meeting Agenda on parish noticeboards (4), and the parish website. The Committee normally meets on the fourth Monday of each month (see Council meetings), except in August and December. The Parish’s agreed comments on applications are notified to HDC’s planning department within two working days of the meeting.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and speak at both District and Parish Council planning meetings. The Neighbourhood Planning Committee asks members of the public wishing to make contributions at its meetings to follow this protocol, which includes telling the Clerk at the start of the meeting which item(s) you would like to speak to. Please note that you need to register in advance to speak at meetings of the Horsham District Council Planning Committee (South).
Members of the Committee are obliged to declare any interest they may have in a planning application, and will not normally participate in the discussion.
Advice before making a planning application
General information about the need to get planning permission is available at www.planningportal.gov.uk. If you have an application in mind you are welcome to contact the parish for informal feedback on what may, or may not, be likely to get consent. However, such advice should not be construed as expert professional advice on planning policy or law, and is without prejudice to the eventual consideration of detailed plans by the Neighbourhood Planning committee.
Enforcement & Compliance
The Parish Council can act as a sounding-board for residents who are concerned about a potential breach of planning rules/permissions – contact a Councillor or the Clerk. However, the Parish Council has no enforcement or compliance powers; it can only make minor local investigations prior to referring enforcement matters to Horsham District officers. Residents can themselves go direct to the Horsham Compliance Team, by registering the issue via this portal.