The Town Council’s Role in Planning
The Town Council as a Parish Council is a statutory consultee on planning applications and is normally given 21 days to comment.
Lancaster City Council is the Local Planning Authority to whom all Planning Applications are considered. The City Council makes the final decisions on applications but will consult the Town Council on all applications received.
The following is a link to the City Council’s planning information on their website:
In commenting on planning applications it is important that the Council considers relevant planning issues.
- Consistency with the development plan for the area
- Traffic and highway safety issues
- Overlooking, loss of privacy and loss of light
- Scale of the development
- Design, appearance, layout and material
- Loss of important open space or physical features
- Noise, disturbance or smells
- Local knowledge of drainage or other possible problems with the surface
- Impact on the surroundings
Issues that are not relevant include:
- Effect on the value of property
- Loss of view over other peoples land
- Possible future development not included in the application
- Private property rights such as boundary or access disputes
- Matters covered by other laws
- The morals or motives of the developer
Current Planning Applications within the Morecambe Town Council Area
If you have any concerns or comments on any application which you would like the Town Council to consider please contact the Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org
Town Council’s Planning, Development and Environment Committee
The Town Council has a Planning Development and Environment Committee which meets regularly to consider applications and Development Plan consultations.
The following is a link to the Agenda and Minutes of the Planning and Development Committee: http://www.morecambe.gov.uk/minutes-and-agendas/planning-and-development/
The Terms of Reference of the Committee are:
1. To consider planning applications that involve 3 or more domestic properties, commercial developments above the value of £1m and any strategically important application and to make recommendations to Council on the Council’s response.
2. To consider any other Planning Application requested by members of the Council
3. To consider any planning policies and strategies covered by the Morecambe Town Council area of responsibility and to make recommendations to Council on the Council’s response.
4. Preparation of budgets for the maintenance of allotments for consideration by the Council each year during the budgetary process
5. To consider and make recommendations to Council with regard to any environmental issues affecting Morecambe
6. To consider environmental issues referred from Council for investigation and consideration for report back to Council
7. Liaison with Allotment holders and Associations and to manage allotment provision through service level agreements agreed with respective Allotment Associations.
8. Members of the Committee to represent the Town Council at meetings with other agencies to discuss Allotment issues
9. To review the allotment provision within Morecambe together with a waiting list for allotments
Lancaster City Council is responsible for the new Local Plan for the Lancaster district will set out how planning applications should be decided, identify areas for development and areas which should be protected from development because of their environmental, social and/or economic value.
As a statutory consultee, the Town Council is consulted on all such Plans.
Details of live consultations are published on the City Council’s website and will appear here at the appropriate time.
The Local Plan will be made up of five documents:
- Land Allocations (including a policies map that shows sites that will be developed or protected from development)
- Development Management (provides the policies which are used to consider planning applications)
- Morecambe Area Action Plan (describes actions to support regeneration in the central area of Morecambe)
- Arnside and Silverdale AONB Plan (provides additional policies that consider how to plan in an area with a high landscape value)
- Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Plan (policies that consider in detail how to meet the needs for Gypsies and Travellers sites)
- Supplementary Planning Documents (supplements and provides more detail on Development Management and Morecambe Area Action Plan Development Plan Documents)
The Town Council has decided it would like to work with the local community to prepare a Morecambe Neighbourhood Plan, which will help shape the future look of our town. The first part of the process is to apply to Lancaster City Council for the designation of the Neighbourhood Area. The Town Council submitted an application at the end of January 2016 and the four week consultation period commenced on 15th February. The relevant documents to this consultation may be viewed below:
“Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work”.
They will be able to:
- choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built
- have their say on what those new buildings should look like
- grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.”
The Neighbourhood planning provisions enable local communities to have more influence over how planning happens in their local areas, but there are limits to these new powers and no Neighbourhood Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Plan must be made unless it complies with various conditions including a requirement that it is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the local planning authority’s own development plan for the area.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan is “a plan which sets out policies (however expressed) in relation to the development and use of land in the whole or any part of a particular neighbourhood area specified in the plan”. Any qualifying body (such as the Town Council) may initiate a process for requiring a local planning authority to make a neighbourhood plan.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan:
“(a) must specify the period for which it is to have effect,
(b) may not include provision about development that is excluded development, and
(c) may not relate to more than one neighbourhood area.”
If to any extent a policy set out in a Neighbourhood Development Plan conflicts with any other statement or information in the plan, the conflict must be resolved in favour of the policy.
The Secretary of State may make Regulations
“(a) restricting the provision that may be included in neighbourhood development plans about the use of land,
(b) requiring neighbourhood development plans to include such matters as are prescribed in the regulations, and
(c) prescribing the form of neighbourhood development plans.”
Why would a Town Council produce a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Localism Act proposes to give Town and Parish Councils the power to produce Neighbourhood Plans, but they have no duty to do so. It is entirely voluntary, and communities may instead choose to rely just on the District Council’s plans, or on supplementary planning documents such as Area Action plans. However, this could be seen as a missed opportunity for town and parish councils to take the lead in deciding how their areas should develop and change.
The Neighbourhood Plan Process is as follows:
1. The Town or Parish Council decides to produce a Neighbourhood Plan;
2. The Town or Parish Council agrees the area to be covered by the Plan and applies to the District Council for approval of the Neighbourhood Area submitting the following:
- A map identifying the proposed neighbourhood are;
- A statement explaining why the area is appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area;
- A statement explaining that the body making the area application is capable of being a qualifying body.
3. The Plan is prepared by the Town or Parish Council, with support and advice from the District Council;
4. Community engagement is carried out by the Town or Parish Council;
5. The Plan is submitted to the District Council to check for legal compliance and conformity with national and local policies;
6. The District Council carries out a further ‘pre-examination’ public consultation;
7. The District Council appoints an independent and suitably qualified Examiner, who
8. Any amendments recommended by the Examiner are made to the Plan;
9. A referendum is carried out – probably limited to residents of the Neighbourhood Plan area, and with a simple question such as ‘should the Neighbourhood Plan be adopted?
(Yes or No);
10. If over 50% of the voters agree, then the District Council must adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.
For further information please visit the My Community Website: Click Here
Morecambe Neighbourhood Plan
Morecambe Town Council is proposing to start work on producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan (commonly referred to as a Neighbourhood Plan) for our town. This is an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of our town and realise our vision which aims to work with the residents of Morecambe to make Morecambe a better place to live, work and visit’.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan allows a local community to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work.
A Neighbourhood Plan can be used to:
- Develop a shared vision for our neighbourhood.
- It can allocate land for different uses. These could include housing, shops, employment and community uses.
- Identify and protect important local green spaces.
- Influence what new buildings should look like.
If adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the Development Plan for the Lancaster District, and Lancaster City Council will have to have regard to it when making planning decisions.
The Town Council’s whole area has been designated as Neighbourhood Area.
There is a link below to the Plan showing the Neighbourhood Plan boundary can be downloaded from the Town Council’s website.
‘It is your opportunity to have a say in the future of your town.’
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is an exciting opportunity for our whole community to help shape the future of our town and realise the Town Council’s vision ‘to work with local residents to make Morecambe a better place to live, work and visit’.
The Neighbourhood Plan will allow our community to influence the planning of Morecambe. The type of issues covered could include things like:
- Protecting the heritage of Morecambe and its buildings;
- Improved management of houses in multiple occupation;
- Local design issues;
- Protection and enhancement of Morecambe’s greenspace;
- Improved management of Morecambe’s empty properties to enhance their appearance and encourage bringing them back into appropriate forms of use;
- Proposals for the development and use of key sites in the town;
The Council undertook a consultation between May and July, 2016. The intention is to begin to progress the Plan in early 2017 with the creation of a Steering Group which will include Community members.
Recent responses to the City Council by the Town Council