Decision Making Process & The Development Control Agenda

Until further notice due to the Coronavirus we are unable to accept PAPER planning applications, comments on planning applications, compliance complaints or forms relating to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Planning applications must be made electronically via the planning portal Comments on planning applications must be made on the online comment facility, compliance complaints must be made on the online form and the submission of CIL forms (with the exception of CIL Form 1 which must be submitted with the planning application itself) must be sent to

We are working towards setting up a Development Control Committee for 27 May 2020 to determine planning applications in the normal way. The Government are setting out legislation on how this should be achieved. The Government sent a letter to local councils recently, which is attached here: Chief Planners Newsletter - March 2020.pdf [pdf] 135KB . There is currently no change to the Council’s scheme of delegation and applications will still need to be determined at a Committee meeting if necessary. It is highly likely that this meeting (and future meetings) will be held remotely or with a reduced number of members and details will be published when they have been agreed.


Most types of planning application have a 21 day public consultation period, when the public and interested parties can make representations about the application. The public consultation period is advertised in the Planning Weekly List. This is available on the Application Search page, in the West Sussex Gazette and on a site notice posted at or near the site. No decision can be made until this time has elapsed. Once the 21 day consultation period is over, the case officer will make a recommendation. Before making the recommendation the case officer will visit the site, consider the consultation responses and all other planning issues. At this point it will be determined whether the decision should be delegated to officers or be considered at the Development Contol Committee Meeting.


Development Control Committee Decisions

A planning application will be presented to the planning committee known as the Development Control Committee where:

  • Any Major or Minor application for planning permission which prior to its determination is subject to a written representation from a Parish Council, Town Council or formal Parish Meeting, which has been received within the consultation period and which is in conflict with the recommendation of Officers. 
    • Major Development is:
    • 10+ dwellings / over half a hectare / building(s) exceeds 1000m²
    • Office / light industrial - 1000+ m² / 1+ hectare
    • General industrial - 1000+ m² / 1+ hectare
    • Retail - 1000+ m²/ 1+ hectare
    • Gypsy/traveller site - 10+ pitches
    • Site area exceeds 1 hectare
    • Minor Development is:
    • 1-9 dwellings (unless floorspace exceeds 1000m²) or under half a hectare
    • Office / light industrial - up to 999 m²/ under 1 hectare
    • General industrial - up to 999 m²/ under 1 Hectare
    • Retail - up to 999 m²/ under 1 hectare
    • Gypsy/traveller site - 0-9 pitches
  • Any Major or Minor application which would create a new access or egress via the A27,A29, A284 and A259 roads. This is irrespective of any comments made by the Parish Council.
  • Any household application where the ward member has submitted a written request to the Chairman and/or Vice Chairman of the Development Control Committee before the end of the statutory consultation period shall be referred to the Development Control Committee where it is on sound planning grounds.

An agenda is prepared containing the report and recommendation for each application being presented. This will be available to the public five working days before the meeting. Councillors receive a copy of the agenda. The case file and plans are also available to them. For further details of how the committee works and information on how to register to speak at the meeting please see the separate information below on Speaking at Development Control Committee. To see agendas and minutes of meetings please go to our Development Control Committee page.


Delegated Authority

Other than the applications listed above which are decided by the Development Control Committee all other decisions are delegated and are made by the Group Head of Planning Services and Team Leaders who  have been delegated the authority to determine applications. These decisions include:

  • Householder applications to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the curtilage (boundary/garden) of house
  • Change of use (no operational development)
  • Adverts
  • Listed building extensions / alterations
  • Listed building demolition
  • Application for relevant demolition of an unlisted building within a Conservation Area
  • Certificates of Lawfulness (191 and 192)
  • Prior Notifications
  • Permissions in Principle  and Technical Detail Consent

They will consider the following before making a decision:

  • details of the application
  • details of the case officer's site visit
  • all consultation responses received
  • the advice and case officer's recommendation.


Who makes the decision on a planning application?

The Scheme of Delegation is the set of rules which determines whether a planning application will be decided by Councillors at the Development Control Committee or by planning officers under the delegated powers given to them by the Council.

Part 4 – Officer Scheme of Delegation can be found in the Council's Constitution 


Speaking at Development Control Committee Meetings

Arun District Council has always encouraged public involvement in the planning process and one of the key ways of achieving this is to encourage public contributions at development control committee meetings.

The right to speak at a Development Control Committee will apply to applicants and/or their agents, as well as any interested party/organisation who has made written representations in respect of any item being considered by that Committee (except for those items which are exempt by virtue of Section 12A of the Local Government Act 1972).

The visual presentation of material at Development Control Committee will be restricted to that information submitted as part of the application (and/or prepared by officers in respect of any other item) in accordance with the visual presentation procedures agreed by the Planning Committee. Speakers are not entitled to circulate material to Committee Members at the meeting.

Those members of the public or applicants/agents wishing to speak must formally register their wish to speak by no later than 5.00pm on the day before the notified Committee date, by telephoning 01903 737512. A list of those wishing to speak will be prepared on a first come, first served basis up to the maximum allowed by the procedure. Please note that the name of anyone who registers to speak will be in the public domain.

Applicants/agents and all other parties/organisations who have made written representations regarding an application/item which falls to be considered by the Development Control Committee will be notified in writing of the date of the relevant Committee, their right to speak and the applicable procedures at the time that the recommendation is prepared by the relevant case officer.

Committee agendas containing the officer's report and recommendation, are published at least 5 working days before the date of the meeting. A copy of the agenda can be inspected at the planning reception at Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis Town Hall, Libraries and Town and Parish Council Offices. Speakers are advised to read the published report in advance. The report includes a summary of the written representations received and a section of comment upon these representations. It will help the Committee if speakers can avoid repetition of representations which have been agreed with in the comments section of the report.

If for any reason the application/item is no longer to be considered by the Development Control Committee the Council will endeavour to notify the interested parties. For this reason, please always provide your phone number and call us if you change your mind about wishing to speak, or subsequently cannot attend.

Speakers will be notified of the future Committee date when the consideration of items are deferred by the Committee. Please note that the Committee does not operate public speaking for items which are returned for determination.

To avoid possible confusion, the Council regrets that it cannot accept the registration of speakers in any other manner (by letter or email) and those invited to speak must first register their wish to speak in the way prescribed, as the Committee will not be able to hear any party who has not formally registered.

Some applications/items fall to be determined by officers under the Council's approved Scheme of Delegation and will not be put to the Development Control Committee for determination and it is not always possible to determine the decision method until the stage at which the case officer is formulating a recommendation. Therefore, it is not possible for the Council to accept, 'prior' or 'holding' registrations.

The time allowed for those registered to speak at a Committee meeting will be controlled by the Chairman, striking the right balance between the opportunity for people to be heard and ensuring that applications are dealt with efficiently and fairly within a reasonable length of meeting.

Times, dates and venues for Development Control Committee meetings are available from the Committees Team on 01903 737611.


Committee Arrangements For Speaking: Number and Order of Speakers

Time Allowed
1. Planning Officer - to present and if necessary update the report, particularly regarding further written representations received
2. Town or Parish Council/Meeting Representative
3 minutes per speaker, maximum of 1 speaker
3. Objectors to the Application
3 minutes per speaker, maximum of 2 speakers
4. Applicant/Agent/Supporters
3 minutes per speaker, maximum of 2 speakers
The Planning Officer is there to deal with any errors of fact which have arisen or any necessary clarification of policy or other issues.
Committee members are there to debate and determine the application, involving Officers as necessary.
Arun District Council Members are entitled to address the Committee at the discretion of the Chairman in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, they are excluded from this process.



In any of the above cases, a formal decision notification will be issued once the decision has been made. This will be emailed or posted to the applicant or to the agent, if the applicant has appointed one, and it will also be published on the website. It will contain details of any conditions or reasons for refusal and details of how to appeal if there are conditions or it is a refusal.