The planning application assessment process, in its simplest form, consists of three main stages. The first involves consulting the policies and guidance in the Local Development Plan, including any supplementary guidance and national guidelines. The next stage is considering whether the proposal is in line with the policies and guidance identified. The third stage involves identifying any material planning considerations that could justify a departure from policy.
Therefore, when considering a proposal an officer can take into account material planning considerations. These cover a wide range of issues including:
Weight varies in every instance, it’s not about ticking all of these. Only one material consideration needs to be valid for an officer to be able to depart from planning policy, however this must be of significant importance to do so.
Therefore, when making a comment on an application, whether positive or negative, try to stick to issues that are material planning considerations as these hold validity in the planning process and can be used when considering whether to recommend the approval or refusal of an application. Issues that are not material considerations cannot be considered when assessing an application, these include:
Further information on what is and is not a material planning consideration can be found at: http://my.stirling.gov.uk/services/planning-and-the-environment/planning-and-building-standards/planning-applications-warrants-and-certificates