I often get very worried residents ring me about a planning application – sometimes because they need my help to refer it to committee but usually because they are objecting to something that is happening right next to them and they don’t know what to do. That’s what I am here for – so please do call.
However, I really felt that the information on how things worked really needed to be in your hands so we have distributed a “How To” leaflet across Brentwood West. Feedback has shown that many of you appreciate this and have just tucked the leaflet away for a day when you might need it.
The important thing to say is that when you are notified of an application near you, it may seem that all is lost, but very often they get refused. Don’t panic – give us a call – and we will talk it through. Remember, it is an application at that stage and nothing else.
The leaflet is here, in case you missed it. But here also is a quick 10-point guide:
1. Check regularly on www.brentwood.gov.uk to see if there are any applications in your street -or set up an automatic alert on www.planningalerts.com.
2. Look out for yellow signs tied to lampposts in your area and look at the applications published in the Brentwood Gazette.
3.If directly affected, a letter should be sent to you from Brentwood Council. This is your cue to put in your objection, or even a letter of support, whether you get a letter or not.
4. If you do get notice of an application through your door – DO NOT PANIC! It’s not a foregone conclusion that it will go through and many applications do get refused.
5. If you find it difficult or upsetting then it is absolutely fine to ask a relative or friend or one of us to help you.
6. Once the consultation is finished, a planning officer will make a recommendation of refusal or approval on the weekly list (published on a Friday). Un-referred items get approved or refused as per the weekly list recommendation.
7. On this website I publish recommendations made as soon as possible and we have until the following Monday week (ten days) at midday to refer them to the Planning Committee.
8. Once referred, an application goes to the next committee (they are held monthly). Prior to this, the members of the committee will visit the site to see it for themselves, usually on the Saturday morning before the committee meets.
9. When the application is debated at the committee, an objector and supporter can speak for three minutes each outlining their case.
10. Finally, a vote is taken and a decision is made.
So, please try not to worry too much and call us as soon as you can so we can help you through the process.