Documents to download

• This note describes the behaviour required of councillors in the determination of planning applications. There is another relevant note, HUDo councillors have to follow the advice of officers in taking planning decisions?UH (SN/SC/1030).

• The Localism Act 2011 will completely change the previous system, but the relevant provisions have not yet been brought into force. Standards for England expects to lose its regulatory role at the end of January 2012 and to be abolished on 31 March 2012.

• Councillors have to follow a Code of Conduct, with particularly strict rules relating to personal interests, such as a councillor living near to a property where there is a planning application.

• The Code of Conduct and Standards Board interpretations do not automatically prevent a councillor from taking part in a planning decision if he has earlier expressed a view about a development. However, he does risk being accused of “predetermination”. A planning application has to be determined in the appropriate committee after considering all the appropriate evidence, and not before.

• The Localism Act 2011 will abolish the concept of predetermination from 15 January 2012. Councillors will still have to have an open mind, but previous actions will not be evidence that they do not do so.

Documents to download

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