South Petherton Parish Council
Terms of Reference
Adopted and Approved at the Meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 2nd November 2015
To make recommendations on behalf of South Petherton Parish Council on all matters relating to planning within the Civil Parish of South Petherton, including but not exclusively; planning applications, planning appeals, tree preservation orders (TPO’s), enforcement notices and on planning policy reviews at local, regional and national levels.
To safeguard, maintain and where possible, enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Civil Parish of South Petherton for both the current and future generations.
THE PLANNING COMMITTEE WILL:
a) Provide training to committee members.
b) Review the planning documentation and visit the site where necessary.
c) Provide parishioners the opportunity to view plans held by the Parish Council
d) Hold public meetings where appropriate.
e) Encourage public participation at meetings.
f) Request where appropriate for the Ward Councillor to ‘call in’ an application to the Local Authority’s Area committee.
g) The committee where it deems fit will push for S.106 funding from developers towards projects within the civil Parish of South Petherton.
THE CLERK WILL:
a) Post agendas on all available notice boards
b) Submit the application to the Public Library with a copy of the top sheet going to all members of the Planning Committee
c) Record the number of letters of support or objection received by the Parish Council and note the planning issues raised by those letters.
d) Ensure that all responses to the local authority give the Parish Councils detailed reasons for either approving or recommending refusal of the application.
e) Where necessary attend South Somerset’s Development Committee Meetings in order to support and re-state the Parish Council’s recommendation
f) Under delegated powers review and respond to planning applications on behalf of South Petherton Parish Council in the absence of a Planning Committee meeting.
g) Ensure that such planning applications responded by way of delegated powers are subsequently retrospectively approved by the Parish Council or Planning Committee
PLANNING PROCESS ADVICE NOTES
South Somerset Council is the planning authority responsible for planning decisions within the Civil Parish of South Petherton and is the only body that can make decisions within the Parish. South Petherton Parish Council is empowered and entitled to make an observation or comment on an application to South Somerset Council on behalf of the Parish. Individuals may also make comment on an application, directly to South Somerset Council and are welcome to comments on applications at Planning Committee meetings
Guidance on new planning applications can be sought via the Governments Planning Portal website ttp://www.planningportal.gov.uk/ or South Somerset Council on 01935 462462 or their website http://www.southsomerset.gov.uk. Once the South Somerset Council has accepted and verified the application it will: - Display the application on the South Somerset Website - where it is freely available for the public to view. Notify any near neighbours of the application Advise the Parish Council of the application. Advise the Ward Councillor of the Application. Put up a notice at or near the development site Notify any statutory consultee e.g. Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board.
Within South Petherton the Parish Council has delegated powers relating to Planning to a specific committee The South Petherton Parish Council Planning Committee. This committee meets once a month immediately prior to the holding of a Parish Council Meeting which is the first Monday of the month. If found necessary additional meetings will be held as and when required.. Members of the public are free to attend any of these meetings and make their views known to the members of the Planning Committee. The Committee will consider each application on its merits and in line with current South Somerset Planning Policy, South Somerset’s own local planning policy and regional and national planning policies where relevant.
Following consideration of each individual matter together with any comments from the public the Committee will make its recommendations to South Somerset Council. Members of the public are also able to make their views known to South Somerset Council directly by adding comment on the planning web site or in writing.
The Parish Council may take the opportunity to request that the Ward Councillor ‘Calls In’ an application should the Committee feel that the application is contentious, outside current policy or relates to a matter of import to the general community.
When an application has been ‘called in’ the planning decision will no longer be made by the delegated panning officer at South Somerset but will be referred to an area committee of Local Ward Councillors for a decision. In certain circumstances the area committee may itself refer the matter to the full Planning and Regulatory Committee at South Somerset Council.
Once a Planning Application is approved that is the end of the matter. Should an application be refused the applicant has the right to take their case to appeal. Further information on this can be found on both The Planning Portal website http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/ or South Somerset Council website http://www.southsomerset.gov.uk
KEY PLANNING POLICY PRINCIPLES
The Planning Committee will ensure all decisions are based on sustainable development principles including:
a) Social inclusion recognising the needs of everyone.
b) Effective protection and enhancement of the environment.
c) Where appropriate through the provision of good quality affordable housing the vitality of the village can be perpetuated.
d) Support growth of local employment.
e) Preserving and enhancing the character of the village
f) Development should be well designed and not impose burdens on the residents or create problems for the future.
g) Ensuring planning decisions conform to the Local Plan, unless there are overriding material considerations.
h) Ensure that any development or change in use does not have a detrimental impact on infrastructure on the village or its surroundings.
PLANNING POLICY STATEMENTS
1 Economic Development
Benefit to area – Look favourably on any proposed development within its policy parameters which would offer marked public benefit and/or improvements in traffic and road safety or increased local employment
2. Community Services & Facilities
Encourage mixed and multi purpose uses that maintain community vitality and quality of life (e.g. children’s play area / multi purpose village hall)
3. Housing - a place to live
All applications must be considered against the need for the village to be a community to live in.
3.1 Affordable housing – Consider sympathetically the merits of any suitable scheme put forward for affordable housing if there is proof of a local housing need even if just outside the settlement area.
3.2 When dealing with Granny flats and holiday annexes care should be taken not to permit a sizeable unit that could become a semi-detached separate dwelling, in particular if it falls outside the settlement boundary.
3.3 Infill within an existing boundary could be supported as long as it is not to the detriment of the neighbour’s amenity and does not contribute to creating a dormitory settlement, with high levels of out-commuting. The word infill is to be interpreted as development on vacant unused land amid an existing group or settlement.
3.4 Flats, conversions and Houses of Multiple Occupation. Conversion of dwelling will be permitted if it does not have an effect on the character and amenities of the property or adjoining properties. The standard of the accommodation does not create an over intensive use of the site. The converted property will not have an effect on the character of the wider area.
3.5 The provision of off street parking is encouraged. Developments that impact on on-street parking and potentially harm the safety of the highway for road users and pedestrians are strongly discouraged.
3.6 New developments which have used the ‘Designing out Crime’ Service run by Avon & Somerset Police will be looked upon favourably.
4. Conservation Area & Design / Character of South Somerset
Ensure development respects and where possible enhances local character. Designs should be of good quality using appropriate materials. It is essential that a cohesive impression of the distinctive character of the area be respected and enhanced.
4.1 The character, appearance and setting of the Conservation area should be preserved and enhanced.
4.2 Cables should be placed underground wherever possible and Tele Communications companies should be required to share masts wherever possible.
4.3 Open recreation spaces within the village should be retained
4.4 All traditional stone boundary walls should be retained and repaired where necessary and encouragement given to the planting of native hedging where appropriate. Where new development adjoins existing stone walls, it should incorporate matching stone boundary walls.
4.5 Existing/original features such as windows, doors, and railings which contribute to the character of the building/area should be retained. Replacement windows and doors should match the original in terms of size, design, colour and materials
4.6 The scale, design and materials of any development or new development (including extensions) must be appropriate to the area in which it is located
4.7 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Listed Buildings must be protected and preserved; the County Archaeologist is to be kept informed of any proposed plan.
5. Settlement Boundary & Countryside around South Petherton
The overall aim is to protect the countryside for the sake of its intrinsic character and beauty, the diversity of its landscape, heritage and wildlife, so it may be enjoyed by all.
5.1 Reuse of an existing building can be accepted provided it meets the following criteria
• It is suitable for conversion
• And/or there is need to preserve a building of historical or architectural importance
• It makes no significant impact on the countryside, landscapes or wildlife
• Has no detrimental impact on the surrounding infrastructure.
5.2 In order to protect the character of the village residential development should not be permitted outside the settlement boundary as defined in the North Somerset Local Plan, with the exception of affordable housing2.
5.3 All approaches into and out of the village should be protected.
6. Character of Landscape
6.1 Revised Planning Policy document permits no development on areas that have been statutorily designated for their landscape, wildlife or historic qualities and areas which give the village its unique character.
7 Agricultural Land & Farm Diversification
7.1 Encourage development that delivers diverse and sustainable farming enterprises.
8 Open Spaces
8.1 Encourage other country side based enterprises and activities which contribute to rural activity.
8.2 Support the preservation of footpaths, bridges, stiles and access points to enable people to enjoy and fully utilize the countryside (e.g. walking, running, and cycling).
9 Equine Related Activities
9.1 To recognise horse riding & other equestrian activity are popular forms of recreation in South Petherton and can provide a useful form of farm diversification.
9.2 Development should be closely monitored to ensure against the proliferation of riding stables in the countryside which may adversely affect an area by nature of their design or location. Account should be taken of their locality to designated bridleways and BOATs. Support will be given to equine enterprises that maintain environmental quality.
10.1 Sustainable management of existing woodland is to be encouraged.
Development will only be supported if it would not prejudice highway safety or emergency vehicle access.
11.1 Development giving rise to a significant number of travel movements will only be supported if it is not likely to lead to an unacceptable degree of traffic congestion or to generate traffic that cannot be accommodated without seriously affecting the character of the village and its surrounding area.
Open Spaces Committee
THE OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE WILL :-
To make recommendations on behalf of South Petherton Parish Council on all matters relating to its Open Spaces policies as well as overseeing all matters relating to the employment of Staff with regards to Open Spaces responsibilities
To safeguard maintain and where possible enhance the Village Open Spaces situated within the Parish of South Petherton for both the current and future generations. In addition to ensure that good relationships are maintained with the community at large
THE OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE WILL:-
in respect to its management and maintenance responsibilities :
1.1 provide necessary training to committee members and staff
1.2 advise the Council as to its financial and economic policies that impinge on Open Spaces subject matters and deal with the allocation and control of its asset resources.
1.3 consider and produce where necessary for annual budget purposes costings for both current and future projects in order to assist in the Council in its precept requirements. Such budgetary requirements to be prepared in sufficient time for the Parish Council’s formal prior approval
1.4 regularly monitor reports of income and expenditure against the approved budget.
1.5 annually review fees and charges and make any recommendations to Council as part of the budget setting process
1.6 review regularly the Council’s Asset Register and Insurance arrangements with regards to Open Spaces
1.7 undertake regular reviews of the Council’s Risk Assessment with regard to the Council’s Assets and Employees
1.8 review annually its terms of reference
1.9 To carry out whenever required suitable consultation processes that fit the Councils consultation strategy
THE OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE WILL:_
in respect to its personnel responsibilities:
2.1 maintain an overall view of manpower requirements and the allocation of manpower resources
2.2 oversee personnel policy and staff management issues relating to Open Spaces subject matters
2.3 responsible for health and safety policies relating to Open Spaces Matters
2.4 responsible for training and staff matters that directly impinge on Open Spaces matters
2.5 provide opportunities for continuous professional development of staff and councillors in relation to Open Spaces subject matters
2.6 review annually its terms of reference and implement any amendments
3 THE CLERK WILL:
3.1 Post agendas on all available notice boards the village website and other forms where appropriate of social media
3.2 Prepare and produce for committee consideration any required budgetary matters
Finance & General Purposes Committee
To make recommendations on behalf of South Petherton Parish Council on all matters relating to its Financial and Economic policies as well as overseeing all matters relating to the employment of Staff.
To safeguard maintain and where possible enhance the financial and economic well-being of the Parish of South Petherton for both the current and future generations. In addition to ensure good staff relationships are maintained.
THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE WILL :-
in respect to its financial responsibilities :
(a) provide training to committee members.
(b) advise the Council as to its financial and economic policies and deal with the allocation and control of financial resources.
(c) consider all Committee annual budgets concurrent funding and precept requirements and to prepare the annual budget for the Parish Council’s approval in the month of January.
(d) regularly monitor reports of income and expenditure against the approved budget.
(e) monitor the Council’s cash position through bank reconciliations
(f) annually review fees and charges and make any recommendations to Council as part of the budget setting process
(g) review regularly – at least every three years - the Council’s Banking Investment and Insurance arrangements
(h) undertake regular reviews - at least every four years – of the Council’s Financial Regulations and Standing Orders
(i) recommend to Council the Annual Return and as part of the process to:
- consider the annual accounts
- ensure that the asset register is up to date
- consider any risk management issues
(j) consider applications for grants and make recommendations to Council
(k) review annually its terms of reference
THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE WILL:-
in respect to its personnel responsibilities:
(a) maintain an overall view of manpower requirements and the allocation of manpower resources
(b) oversee personnel policy and staff management issues including annual review of staff salaries
(c) responsible for health and safety policy
(d) oversee the appointment of staff
(e) deal with personnel matters generally and in particular
- recruitment and appointment procedures
- staff welfare
- clerk’s appraisals
- terms and conditions of service
- discipline (all disciplinary action will referred to the council)
- arrangements to hear any discipline or grievance appeals
- matters arising under legislation relating to contracts of employment and industrial relations
- staff handbook
- continuous professional development of staff
- training of councillors
- review regularly job descriptions
(f) review annually its terms of reference
THE CLERK WILL:
- Post agendas on all available notice boards
- Prepare and produce for Council three monthly accounts commencing in April of each year
- Prepare monthly bank reconciliations.
- Prepare the Annual Return for Council approval
- Liaise with both the Internal & External Auditor
To make recommendations on behalf of South Petherton Parish Council on all matters relating to its Business and Commercial activities.
To safeguard maintain and where possible enhance the business and commercial well-being of the Parish of South Petherton for both the current and future generations. In addition to ensure good relationships are maintained. This will embrace the aspirations of both retail and commercial businesses in the Parish.
THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE WILL :-
in respect to its Business & Commercial responsibilities focus :
- on improving the Parish's retail and other businesses. To access Earmarked Reserves as appropriate and oversee their effective deployment.
- on creating and implementing new signage to direct visitors to the small ancient market town
- on enhancing the presence of South Petherton in electronic and other media outlets
- on considering Branding and co-operative activities to raise awareness
- on representing South Petherton on the SSDC Market Towns Investment Group
- on working with the Business Community to attract more business and customers
- on establishing regular liason meetings with the business community
- on agreeing on joint actions
- on managing The General Power of Competence activities on behalf of the Parish Council
- on operating business ventures established under the General Power of Competence
- on considering and utilising local premises to support new small businesses
- on establishing a monthly Craft and Artisan Market under provisional by law
- on establishing a monthly thursday market as previously agreed by the Parish Council
- on taking direct responsibilty for managing operation
- on co-opting appropriate persons to a management commitee
THE CLERK WILL:
- Post agendas on all available notice boards
Agreed at the Meeting of South Petherton Parish Council held on Monday 3rd March 2014