The Parish Council’s main role in the planning system is to look at and respond to planning applications. This is because there is a legal duty on a local planning authority to notify, where asked, the relevant local council of any planning applications that affect their area, and also because planning applications can often generate considerable interest, and if approved may have a major impact on a local area.

Planning in England is policy-led. When making representations in respect of a planning application, the Parish Council will take into consideration:

  • national policy – at the highest level this is the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • local policy – Amber Valley Borough Council Local Plan and Idridgehay & Alton and Ashleyhay Neighbourhood Development Plan

Planning law is quite explicit and only comments regarding “material consideration” can be taken into account. The local planning authority will disregard points which are non “material considerations”.

Examples of material considerations include:

  • national and local policy
  • impact on access, parking or road safety
  • views of statutory and other consultees
  • visual impact
  • overshadowing
  • layout
  • affect on a Listed Building, Conservation Area or Tree Preservation Order
  • impact on local economy
  • impact on community life
  • design/appearance
  • noise/smell
  • planning site history


Examples of non material considerations include:

  • history/character of applicant
  • reason or motives of applicant
  • impact on individual
  • commercial/business competition
  • impact on property value
  • civil matters e.g. restrictive covenants
  • ownership of land
  • matters of decency or taste
  • matters covered by other regulatory regimes such as Building Standards or Health and Safety



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