The Parish Council is not the local planning authority. The Vale of White Horse District Council is responsible for most local planning matters and determines the majority of planning applications. Oxfordshire County Council also has some responsibility, but only for minerals and waste issues.
The Parish Council is consulted by both Councils on planning applications submitted in Charney Bassett, and sometimes on applications nearby. It is also consulted on policy documents including Local Plans.
The District and County Councils both prepare Local Plans and these provide the main guidance on where development should, and should not, take place.
Parish Councils are able to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. Charney Bassett started to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan but in 2015, when it became clear that the village was to be designated as ‘open countryside’ in the District Local Plan, the Neighbourhood Plan was abandoned in favour of a Community-Led Plan.
The Community-Led Plan was adopted in 2017 and is taken into account in the determination of planning applications. Applicants are therefore encouraged to include measures in their proposals that might address issues raised in the Community-Led Plan. There is a particular concern over road safety throughout the village and there is a list of measures that the Parish Council believes will lead to improvements.
The Parish Council’s aims and objectives might also be relevant.
The Parish Council normally has 21 days to respond when consulted on a planning application. Applicants may therefore wish to discuss proposals with the Parish Council before they are submitted. Contact should first be made with the Parish Clerk.
Where possible, a consultation response will be considered at a full meeting of the Parish Council. However as the Council meets once every two months this is not always possible (see timetable of meetings). In such cases, Parish Councillors are normally asked to express their comments individually and a response is prepared by the Chair (see Standing Orders).
The District Council normally notifies properties they consider to be affected by a planning application. So, to avoid confusion, the Parish Council will not necessarily do this. If you are making comment to the District Council, by all means tell the Parish Council if you wish.
Not all development needs planning permission. This again is for the District Council to decide. Charney Bassett is a small and friendly community and building work can cause disturbance – albeit temporary. Even where planning permission is not required, neighbours might still appreciate some notification before any work starts.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
CIL is payable to the District Council on most development according to a standard charge. The Parish Council receives a percentage of the charge for development that takes place in its area.
The District Council publishes a policy on the way that it will administer the funds it collects. Here are the Parish Council’s views on the District Council’s policy.
Charney Bassett is classified as ‘open countryside’ in the District Local Plan, so it is not expected that much new development will take place here. Nevertheless, the Parish Council has adopted a policy [awaiting approval] which will govern the way in which any monies generated as a result of CIL are spent.