This page gives a brief guide to how planning applications are dealt with and Downton Parish Council’s role in the process. There is more information on the Planning and Building Control page of the Wiltshire Council website.
Wiltshire Council is the planning authority for Downton and is the only body which can make decisions on planning applications. Downton Parish Council, as a statutory consultee, is entitled to comment on planning applications but cannot make a decision on them.
A page is created on Wiltshire Council’s website for each planning application when it is accepted as a valid application. All the application documents, and all comments on the application, can be viewed from that page and there is a link to an online comment form.
Every planning application which relates to land and buildings in the parish of Downton is considered at a meeting of the Parish Council. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of every month. There is a 15 minute period near the start of the meeting during which members of the public, including those supporting or opposing a planning application, can make statements. Councillors will then discuss and vote on the comments to be made by the Parish Council on each application.
The Parish Clerk submits the Parish Council’s comments to Wiltshire Council and members of the public can also separately submit comments to Wiltshire Council.
Decisions are made on the applications either by a planning officer (employee) of Wiltshire Council who has been delegated the authority to determine the application or, in a small number of cases, by the Southern Area Planning Committee which is made up of Unitary Councillors. This will have been preceded by a request from the Unitary Councillor for the parish in which the application is raised to be referred to the Committee. If the decision is to be made by the Southern Area Planning Committee, the meeting will be advertised and members of the public can attend and make statements (but generally only three speakers in favour and three against). However if the decision is made by an officer, it will be made in private and only written comments will be considered.
If permission is refused, or is granted subject to conditions, the applicant may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (an independent body). However, neither Downton Parish Council nor anyone else opposed to a planning application can appeal if planning permission is granted.