[Sample] Scheme of Delegation – Planning Applications

The Councils Scheme of Delegation authorises the Clerk to the Council/Responsible Finance Officer and Standing Committees to act with delegated authority in the specific circumstances detailed.

It is preferable to resolve planning application consultations at a council meeting. The intention of this scheme of delegation is to allow the Clerk to submit a delegated response with the request of Councillors to a planning consultation when a deadline to respond will expire before the next meeting and an extension to reply is not received and there is a general consensus from the council on the consultation response.

This scheme of delegation potentially avoids the need to hold an extraordinary meeting and avoids the risk of not being able to submit a response where an extraordinary meeting can not be held.

Delegated Powers re Planning

  1. In the event that a planning consultation request is received before a meeting, but is not listed as an item of business on an agenda, the council may direct the Clerk to submit a delegated response to the consultation request with a member poll during a full council meeting. The Clerk is authorised to use this poll from council members at a council meeting, to submit a delegated response.
  2. Outside of a meeting, where a deadline to respond will expire before the next council meeting, planning applications shall be received by the Clerk who will provide details to Councillors. (For example sending an email poll with a link to the B&NES planning application to councillors via mailchimp)
  3. Councillors will be given a time limit to respond. If no response has been received from a councillor within a requested time limit this absence of response will not be considered for assessing a joint decision.
  4. When the Clerk considers that there is a consensus in the responses received from council members, and that at least three members have responded, the Clerk shall be delegated to inform the Planning Department within the time allocated of the response of the Council.
    • The Clerk may identify a consensus on whether Councillors: support / object / do not object to a planning application, separately to any additional comments.
    • The Clerk may identify a consensus on any additional comments to submit. Comments may be left off a delegated response by the Clerk if there is no consensus on such comments.
    • The Clerk may seek further confirmation from members by emailing a draft of the delegated response to all members for feedback before submitting to the Planning Department.
  5. All Councillors will report directly back to the Clerk thereby avoiding discussion between members.
  6. If the Clerk has any reservation about submitting a delegated response, the Clerk will no longer proceed with a delegated response.
  7. If any one councillor responds with a request to defer the decision to a council meeting, the Clerk will no longer proceed with submitting a consultation response under the scheme of delegation.
  8. If multiple responses are received from any one councillor, only the most recent response may be considered.
  9. Where queries arise the Chairman may call an extraordinary meeting to decide upon the application, adhering strictly to legal procedures. If a consultation request is subsequently resolved at a legally convened meeting, the Clerk will no longer proceed with a delegated response.