Keeping town and parishes engaged in Northumberland’s planning system

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A change has been made to the planning process which will give town and parish councils another chance to raise concerns.

As previously reported, Bryn Owen, chairman of Craster Parish Council, began gathering opinions from his colleagues across Northumberland as his council had concerns that changes to the planning system had come at the expense of openness and transparency.

Applications contrary to the recommendation of the town or parish council are now discussed by the lead planning officer with the chairmen of the planning committees to decide if they should go to committee. Reports of these discussions will now be sent to the relevant council, enabling further representations prior to a decision on the application.

Coun Owen said: “The system should now be more open and transparent and a new opportunity to influence the decisions of the planners has been created.”