Most new buildings or major changes to existing buildings or to the local environment need consent - known as planning permission. Without a planning system everyone could construct buildings or use land in any way they wanted, no matter what effect this would have on other people who live and work in their area.
The local planning authority for Streatley, is West Bershire Council (WBC). They are responsible for deciding whether a development - anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre - should go ahead. WBC have their own strategic plan and they are also governed by National policies.
The UK Government Planning Portal (which can be found Here) is the UK Government's online planning resource for England and Wales, and relates to nationally applicable issues. It provides an excellent guide to whether you need planning permission for any works you wish to undertake and also provides advice on Building Regulations, which will govern the design and quality standards of any building work. If you intend to make any changes to your property or to build, then we advise you to look at this website.
Legislation allow for some minor works which do not need planning permission. This is known as Permitted Development, but note that all construction must comply with current Building Regulations. Note also that Streatley village lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and contains a ‘Conservation Area’ and these conditions place additional restrictions on planning applications. The majority of housing in the village is within the Settlement Boundary however properties that fall outside this envelope are also subject to more stringent planning controls. In addition if the building or site is a Listed Building then an additional Listed Building Consent must be applied for. If you want to know where the conservation area is, or the settlement boundary, there are maps showing this in our Parish Plan (2005) which can be downloaded Here.
The Parish Council has a requirement to keep abreast of developments in planning policy at National, Regional and District levels and to take the lead in reporting on consultation documents (from WBC and Nationally) referring to such developments; and, if necessary, preparing a draft response which is considered by the whole of the Parish Council before it is submitted; and, assessing and reporting on the effect agreed and adopted changes may be expected to have on local planning applications sent to the Parish Council if the Planning Policies are changed.
Streatley Parish Council does not have any formal planning powers or authority as such but is entitled to comment on planning applications and is a statutory consultee for West Berkshire Council Planning Department during the planning process. In other words – we do not make decisions on Planning Applications, but we are consulted to give our opinion.
Details on the Planning Application process can be found on the West Berkshire Council website. A planning application once submitted and accepted by WBC, usually takes a minimum of 6 – 8 weeks to process, during which time the familiar orange notices must be placed at the site to alert neighbours to the fact that an application has been submitted and request comments by a specific date. During this period Streatley Parish Council receives copies of the planning application and each application is individually reviewed by a nominated councilor and then discussed by the Parish Council as a whole, such that a response can be given to WBC. Where practicable the council will send representatives to discuss the application directly with the applicant and also consult with those in neighboring properties.
The Parish Council considers relevant factors with its local knowledge and the precedent set by previous similar application decisions and will highlight factors that it considers are important and germane to each application. It may also makes recommendations on subordinate matters such as requesting building working hours are limited, building materials are appropriate etc.. The Parish Council can choose to Support, Not Object, or Object to an application. However, for private property or business applications it does not support appplications, it may just choose not to object. It would only support an application (if appropriate) if it related to public property such as the school or village hall – Morrell Room).
During the process the Parish Council is very happy to receive viewpoints from Streatley residents on applications in the Open Forum of its meetings or by telephone, letter or email. However SPC strongly recommends that residents make any comments directly to the West Berkshire Planning Department, whilst copying in the council, as your comments are not included in any official decision-making of WBC unless they are submitted to the planning department. Letters of support or objection to a planning objection MUST be sent to WBC by post or on-line within the timeframe on the Orange notice. If a significant number of the public object to an application, (currently 13) then it will be determined by the Planning Committee (elected officials) rather than a single planning officer (employee of WBC).
A member of the public can also approach their local district councillor to "call it in". If the councillor chooses to, then that application will also be determined by the Planning Committee, not a planning officer.
Information on West Berkshire Council Planning (which is specific to our area and builds on the National policies) can be found by clicking the link below
This information is also necessary before making a planning application.
Planning applications can be submitted via the Planning Portal where there is a wealth of information available on how to apply and the process to follow
Alternatively, forms can be printed out and submitted by post.
You can search for current and past applications on the West Berks Council web site - click the button below
Use the filter 'Streatley Parish Council'
Any Streatley Parish Councilor that submits his/her own planning application, or has an interest in any application (such as being a direct neighbor) must declare this to the Clerk of the Council and is then formally excluded from taking part in Parish Council discussions and decisions.