Parish Council and Planning

Planning Permission

What powers does Pennington Parish Council have with respect to planning applications?

Pennington Parish Council is consulted by the relevant Planning Authority (which is usually South Lakeland District Council) on all planning applications.  Any views expressed by the Parish Council may be taken into account by the Planning Authority before a decision is made, providing the points made are relevant to the determination of a planning application.

It is important to remember that the final decision is made by the Planning Authority, NOT the Parish Council.

Do Parish Councils grant planning permission?

  • Town and Parish Councils are not Planning Authorities.  They are only statutory consultees in the planning process.
  • This means that they only have the right to be informed of planning applications within the parish.
  • They cannot approve or reject planning applications.
  • They can only comment on planning applications in the same way that individuals can comment but as a consultee body and not as individuals within the Parish Council.
  • Consequently, the length of time taken to determine a planning application is governed by the local Planning Authority and not the Parish Council.
  • A Parish Council can request an extension to the consultation period if necessary.
  • The decision whether this is granted rests solely with the Planning Authority and its own deadlines for decision making.

How do parish councils comment on planning applications?

  • Parish Councils can only agree to comment on planning applications in properly called council or committee meetings which the public can attend.
  • The comments agreed in the council meeting are submitted in writing by the Clerk to the relevant planning authority.
  • The process is exactly the same as that of an individual wishing to comment on a planning application.
  • Parish Councils are statutory consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment or not comment on applications.

Valid reasons for comment on a Planning Application

Comments that are clear, concise and accurate stand more chance of being accepted than those that are not. When planning applications are considered, the following matters can all be relevant. These are sometimes referred to as ‘material planning considerations’:

Irrelevant reasons for objection

There are certain matters which do not amount to ‘material planning considerations’ under current legislation and guidance. These matters cannot be taken into account in considering a planning application and should not be included in objections as they weaken your case.

Other Matters – “concerns and issues”

The person making a planning application has to provide enough information for the application to be determined. They do not have to provide every single detail before an application can be approved because certain matters can be resolved by way of conditions included as part of the permission.

Because of this, certain issues may not be considered as ‘objections’ but it is entirely reasonable for you to raise concerns on such issues and to ask to be kept informed before they are approved. These include:

  • The proposed type and colour of the materials to be used.
  • The exact nature of any proposed planting or boundary treatment.

You can find other useful information on South Lakeland District Council’s planning pages at Planning applications (