The Town Council's role in the planning process is to represent the wider community and comment on planning applications as a consultee.
For sites that have already been allocated in Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Plan, it is likely that development will proceed and in these cases it is essential to ensure that the best possible outcomes can be negotiated for the town.
In May 2022 the Town Council established a new Planning Improvement Group for Flitwick with the aim of engaging with Central Bedfordshire Council, residents, and developers to try to influence plans before they reach an advanced stage. The group comprises Town Councillors and residents working together to help make a difference to planning developments in the town.
The Town Council has submitted two objections to major developments that will impact the town. You can read the full reports below:
A Guide to Commenting on a Planning Applications
An important part of the planning process is the involvement of local people, organisations and businesses making their views known about planning applications.
You can support, object or make general comments about any planning application on Central Bedfordshire Council's website. The formal consultation period will normally last for 21 days.
It is important to note that only certain issues can be taken into account when commenting on planning applications, which are known as 'material planning considerations'.
Listed below is information on what constitutes a valid material consideration for planning applications, and issues that are not considered relevant to the decision-making process for planning applications.
Material Planning Considerations
Issues that can be considered to form a valid objection to an application include the following;
- Local, strategic and national planning policies, plus emerging new plans that have been through at least one stage of consultation
- Government circulars, orders, statutory instruments, guidance and advice
- Previous planning and appeal decisions, plus principles of case law held through the courts
- Overshadowing and loss of light based on Building Research Establishment guidance
- Overlooking and loss of privacy
- Highway issues, including traffic generation, vehicular access and highway safety
- Noise and disturbance from proposed use, including operating hours
- Smells and fumes
- Storage and handling of hazardous materials
- Effect on listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments and archaeology
- Loss or effect on trees
- Adverse impacts on nature conservation interests and biodiversity
- Layout and density of building design, visual appearance and finishing materials
- Landscaping and means of enclosure
Non-Material Planning Considerations
Issues that are not relevant to the decision making process and cannot be taken into account include the following;
- Loss of view
- Negative impact on property value
- Land and boundary disputes between neighbours and/or damage to property
- Private rights of access and covenants
- The impact of construction work
- Opposition to business competition
- Personal morals or views about the applicant
- Opposition to the principle of development if this has been decided by an outline planning permission or appeal decision.
- Matters controlled under other non-planning legislation, for example, building regulations
You can view current planning applications in Flitwick and add your comments on individual applications here.
For more information on planning and the planning process visit Central Bedfordshire Council's website.