Parish councils should not be involved in domestic applications

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I read with interest your article regarding Chichester District Council’s proposed new process to allow officers to decide domestic applications that are objected to by parish councils.

We were not aware the decision has been deferred, but if correct it is good news and I hope councillors will use the time to reflect and to reconsider the proposal and reject it.

If passed it will just serve to strengthen the view that the involvement of parish councils in the planning process is a necessary nuisance, rather than desirable and essential input from elected representatives of the local community. If Janet’s statement that 90 per cent of applications are already decided by officers then any justification on the basis of efficiency is surely tenuous.

Kirdford Parish Council (KPC) was one of the parishes that objected to this, and I consider it is against the spirit (at least) of localism and lacks transparency to allow officers to decide in such circumstances instead of councillors deciding in an open meeting and where representation can be made.

In Kirdford we are aggrieved CDC have made a number of controversial decisions where KPC lodged objections and that even under the current process, no meaningful dialogue is entered into with KPC to discuss and fully understand the reasons for the objection (or for KPC to understand the rationale for a proposed decision). To me these proposals just make it easier to disregard the views of parish councils and therefore the local people affected.

Ian Campbell

Councillor

Kirdford Parish Council