Determining planning applications—material considerations
Determining planning applications—material considerations

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Determining planning applications—material considerations
  • Role of material considerations in planning decisions
  • Judicial/statutory review and material planning considerations
  • What is a ‘material consideration’?
  • Considerations which are not ‘material’
  • Planning policy and guidance
  • Planning policy and guidance in England
  • Planning policy and guidance in Wales
  • Planning obligations
  • Former decisions by the LPA / Secretary of State / Welsh Ministers
  • More...

Role of material considerations in planning decisions

When considering an application for planning permission or permission in principle, section 70(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) states that the decision-maker must have regard to:

  1. the provisions of the development plan, so far as material to the application

  2. a post-examination draft neighbourhood development plan, so far as material to the application

  3. any considerations relating to the use of the Welsh language, so far as material to the application

  4. any local finance considerations, so far as material to the application

  5. any other material considerations

Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) provides:

‘If regard is to be had to the development plan for the purpose of any determination to be made under the planning Acts, the determination must be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.’

It is established law that priority is to be given to the development plan in determining planning matters, see Practice Note: Determining planning applications—priority of the development plan.

However, the priority given to the development plan does not mean that proposals for development which are in conflict with the development plan cannot be approved. If there are material considerations (assessed on a case-by-case basis) that indicate the provisions of the development plan should not be followed, they can outweigh the priority given

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