Material Planning Considerations

When Officers are considering planning applications, only certain issues can be taken into account; and these are known as 'material planning considerations'.

The most common issues that can be considered by officers are listed below (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Local and National Planning Policies - Local Plan 2015 and National Planning Policy Framework
  • Pre-application Advice that may have previously been given;
  • Previous appeal decisions or Planning Enquiry reports, including case law;
  • Adverse impact on neighbouring properties, including loss of light, privacy and noise;
  • Impact on trees and nature conservation;
  • Impact on listed buildings and conservation areas;
  • Highway safety;
  • Design, layout and appearance.

How much weight is given to each consideration is a judgement for the decision-taker and Officers are required to show how they have considered all relevant matters. This is done through the production of an Officer Report which is available to view on the Public Access System once an application has been determined.

There are a number of issues that cannot be considered by Officers, and these include:

  • Private issues such as boundary disputes, damage to property or covenants;
  • Personal circumstances of the applicant;
  • Commercial competition;
  • Property values

More information on what is regarded as a material planning consideration is available in the Planning Aid: Material Planning Considerations guidance leaflet