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Monmouthshire planning code to be part of council’s rules

Monmouthshire County Council

GUIDANCE on how councillors act in relation to planning decisions should form part of a council’s rule book. 

Nearly all applications for new buildings and other developments have to be submitted to local authorities for approval. 

Major applications and those which are most contentious are determined by a planning committee of elected councillors and Monmouthshire County Council’s code of conduct sets out how members of the committee and officers should act. 

It also sets out rules for other councillors who aren’t on the 16 member committee such as they must not pressure officers into making a particular decision. 

Members of the committee are allowed to discuss planning applications and can even vote on them if they are a member of a town of community council considering its response to a consultation. 

But they have to keep an open mind and only make their final decision at the committee meeting based only on relevant material planning considerations – which are the issues that can be decided in line with the published planning policy. 

The code of conduct also sets out how the committee must set out its reasons if its makes a decision contrary to the advice of the professional planning officers. 

Monmouthshire council’s standards committee has agreed the code of conduct should form part of the council’s constitution and standing orders the rules that govern the council and set out how its meetings are run. 

The code of conduct has already been approved by the planning committee and will next be considered by the democratic services committee before it is put to the full council for adoption.