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Objecting to planning applications

The BHPRA is often asked to support and help in challenging planning applications. This page highlights some of the issues to consider.  Please note that we will not intervene in disputes between neighbours.

Our Area
The area covered by the Association embraces the Bush Hill Park conservation area. There are greater planning safeguards governing development in the conservation area than outside its boundaries. However, what follows applies to both.

Enfield Council’s General Procedure
In overarching terms Enfield Council considers each planning application under the criteria laid down by government. Without going into the labyrinthine planning regulations it starts with the National Planning Policy Framework. Beneath that lies a multitude of local planning criteria under the Local Plan.  Suffice to say that once Enfield Council has received and registered a planning application (registering means Enfield is satisfied that it has the information needed to determine the application) then the time-line to adjudication commences.

Enfield Council’s Consultation
Enfield Council has the obligation to consult with neighbouring properties where, in their opinion, the proposed development is likely to have an effect. That consultation will take the form of a letter advising of the application and giving the recipient 21 days to respond; if they so wish. If you wish to object you must take action during this period.

Objections
Broadly speaking the more objectors the better. It takes time to construct a letter and Enfield Council gives it due weighting as a consequence. Petitions are virtually worthless as are pro forma (group) letters. Legal issues are outside the planning process and the management of construction disturbance etc is usually dealt with by a condition to the approval. You may wish to engage a consultant to give a professional response.

MP, Councillors & the Planning Committee
It is useful to seek help from your MP and local councillor. The MP will usually write to the planning committee on your behalf. Your councillor has the power to require the application to be considered by the planning committee. Normally, for domestic and small commercial applications, the matter will be resolved by the case officer under delegated powers (obviously with 6000 plus applications a year the vast majority are decided upon in this way). The councillor, if requested by you, can speak for the objector(s) at the meeting.

Objector(s) and the Planning Committee
The planning committee will also listen to the objector(s). They are accorded a total of five minutes to state their case. In order to speak you will need to contact the planning committee’s administrator forty eight hours before the meeting. Following all the representations the committee will debate the merits and demerits of the case; the application being determined on a vote.

BHP Conservation Area
The same procedure applies to applications in the conservation area. As an added layer of consultation Enfield Council has set up a Borough wide structure of local advisory groups in each conservation area. Made up of lay persons their role is to advise the Council on planning applications, and the like, that effect their area. The group that represents the conservation area is Bush Hill Park Conservation Area Study Group. This group vets every application making its views known to Enfield Council. Their advice is given an appropriate level of weighting in the decision making process. On occasions residents have sought assistance from the group to ensure their views reach Enfield Council in a timely and effective manner.

Useful links

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