Determination of Applications
Planning applications are either determined by Officers under delegated powers or by the Planning Committee.
Straightforward household applications, shop fronts, advertisements and other minor developments which are recommended for approval and where there are no objections are decided by the Planning Officers. More complex applications, those where there are objections, or refusals are also delegated, but to a panel of three senior officers (the Head of Planning and/or the Development Manager – Planning, plus team leaders). Before a final decision there is also a consultation with the relevant ward Members.
Applications of strategic importance, or where an Elected Member so requests, are reported to committee for determination. The Planning Committee meetings are usually held every three weeks, and take place on Tuesday at 2pm in Committee Rooms 1/2, in the Civic Centre, Port Talbot, SA13 1PJ, and are open to the public. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and with effect from 26th May 2020, the Council is operating a ‘remote’ Planning Committee – please see Committee pages for dates and the Guidance Note below for details of the remote meeting protocol.
Forthcoming meetings can be found on the Calendar of Council Meetings.
The public have a right to attend the meeting and, with effect from 2nd December 2014, address the Committee in accordance with the Council’s approved procedure. Please note that requests to address the Committee must be received no later than 2pm on the penultimate working day immediately preceding the associated Planning Committee. Based on the usual Tuesday meetings, this would require any representations to be submitted no later than 2pm on the Friday before Committee.
The Committee Agenda of the meeting are available for public viewing at the Port Talbot Civic Centre, Port Talbot no less than 3 working days before the date of the respective meeting, and will usually be available to view online at the same time. If you are interested in listening to the debate on a specific planning application it is advisable to check with the Development Management Section (01639 686733/686331 or firstname.lastname@example.org) that the application is on the agenda before attending, since applications are occasionally withdrawn at short notice from a Committee.
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Commenting on planning applications which are to be reported to Committee
While comments on planning applications are sought within the statutory consultation period of 21 days, this Authority has a policy of accepting comments up until the application is determined. When comments are submitted outside of the statutory consultation period in relation to planning applications that are being reported to Planning Committee, however, it should be noted that those comments may be received too late to be included within the formal committee report. This is because reports are usually prepared up to two weeks before the actual Planning Committee Meeting.
The Authority will therefore accept and report observations received up until 2pm on the penultimate working day immediately preceding the associated Planning Committee. Based on the usual Tuesday meetings, this would require any representations to be submitted no later than 2p.m. on the Friday before Committee.
Representations received in accordance with the Council’s protocol are summarised and, where necessary, commented upon in the form of an Amendment Sheet, which is circulated to Members of the Planning Committee by email on the evening before Committee, and presented in hard copy form at the actual meeting.