One of our main jobs as elected officials is to take up your cases and ensure public bodies are acting in a consistent, fair and appropriate manner. Unfortunately as a two tier authority it is often difficult to find out who you should speak to and how best to present your case. To help we’ve produced a few top tips.

How long does the planning application take?

Planning applications are now submitted online through the council’s planning portal. You should receive confirmation that your application has been received  between five and eight days after. The date your receive this confirmation is, unless there are any problems, your verification date.

Verified planning applications are then put on the council website for consultation for a period of 21 days. Decisions by by officers can be made after this date, unless the level of contention means that they have to be discussed at a planning committee.

Most applications take about 8 weeks from application to being granted. If you want to improve your chances of being successful in an application, Canterbury City Council provide pre-planning guidance on schemes for a nominal fee.

Where do I find information about a planning application near me?

All planning applications are advertised on the council’s website, by erecting posters near the site and through letters to immediate neighbours.

You can search for applications near you online. You can also see other schemes which historically may have been granted or not on the plot or nearby.

The website will list a case number for the application and a lead Case Officer who you should direct all correspondence to.

 

How do I oppose a planning application?

During the consultation phase local neighbours and residents are encouraged to formally object to an application by either emailing [email protected] with the relevant case number or filling in the form online. The CPRE has a good guide on how to collect and present your thoughts.

You should encourage as many households in your neighbourhood to complete this form if there is a concern. 80% of applications are agreed by officers under delegate authority but applications which receive more than 4 objections or are referred to committee by your local authority councillor then receive extra scrutiny from the Planning Committee.

People who object to an application that is to be considered by the Planning Committee will be informed in writing by the city council. The Planning Application meets monthly and will apply the same tests as officers but in public and with the option of the applicant and objectors addressing those people who will make the decision.

On what grounds can I oppose a planning application?

You can object to a planning application on one of three grounds

  1. that the site is in a conservation area or one of Special Scientific Interest which may limit the types of development. Most planning officers are unlikely to validate an application if you can’t build in an area but there are a number of guidelines for local development which historically refer to the character or style of housing in a particular neighbourhood which you may want to investigate.l
  2. that the site is not in keeping with the council’s own plan for development. The council publish a document called there Local Plan once every ten years which stipulates how many homes need to be built and where. Objections of this manner only normal relate to large development sites.
  3. that the design of the site impacts upon others

Design (including bulk and massing, detailing and materials, if these form part of the application) is nowadays recognised as an important factor in the acceptability of a development proposal. If you think the development looks ugly, then you should say so, especially if it is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity. 

The following are the grounds on which planning permission is most likely to be refused (although this list is not intended to be definitive) :

• Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours, by reason of (among other factors) noise*, disturbance*, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. [* this does not include noise or disturbance arising from the actual execution of the works, which will not be taken into account, except possibly in relation to conditions that may be imposed on the planning permission, dealing with hours and methods of working, etc. during the development]
• Unacceptably high density / over-development of the site, especially if it involves loss of garden land or the open aspect of the neighbourhood (so-called ‘garden grabbing’)
• Visual impact of the development
• Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood
• Design (including bulk and massing, detailing and materials, if these form part of the application)
• The proposed development is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity
• The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners
• [If in a Conservation Area, adverse effect of the development on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area]
• [If near a Listed Building, adverse effect of the development on the setting of the Listed Building.]
• The development would adversely affect highway safety or the convenience of road users [but only if there is technical evidence to back up such a claim].

The council will not consider objections which relate to:

• The precise identity of the applicant;
• The racial or ethnic origin of the applicant, their sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views or affiliations or any other personal attributes;
• The reasons or motives of the applicant in applying for planning permission (for example if the development is thought to be purely speculative);
• Any profit likely to be made by the applicant;
• The behaviour of the applicant;
• Nuisance or annoyance previously caused by the applicant [unless this relates to an existing development for which retrospective permission is being sought];
• Concerns about possible future development of the site (as distinct from the actual development which is currently being proposed);
• Any effect on the value of neighbouring properties

 

Can I speak at a planning committee?

You have a right to speak to a planning application if you request to do so before 12 noon on the day before the committee meeting. You should do so by speaking or emailing Democratic Services at the council.

Your remarks will be limited to three minutes but you may be asked questions by the committee after this.

Any local authority councillor who refers a decision to the committee ( this is called ‘calling it in’) also separately has the right to address the committee for three minutes.

Can I object to how a granted application is being built?

A developer may be granted a planning application on certain conditions. These conditions can stipulate what materials should be used, when development is allowed on site and how the concerns of local residents may be allayed. If you fear that an individual is breaking the conditions on which their application was granted you, or your local ward councillor, can petition the Case Officer for a review. 

The council reserve the right to inspect all developments to ensure that they keeping with the plans submitted to them and can instruct developers to suspend work on site, put right any discrepancies they find and ask them to apply for retrospective planning application in some circumstances. Details of this are listed in the Council’s Planning Enforcement Plan.

 

 

How does the council deal with licensing applications?

The council requires members of the public to have a licence to do a wide range of things including:

  • running events on public land
  • operating gambling shops and lotteries
  • busking
  • trading on the street
  • operating as a scrap metal dealer
  • operating as a food business
  • running a sex shop
  • driving a taxi
  • operating an animal business
  • running a licensed premises for the sale of alcohol or entertainment

In almost all of these circumstances licenses are granted by officers on receipt of the  right payment and an applicant reaching the required standard. Licenses for large events and new licensed premises are however considered by committee.

Where do I find information about a licensing application near me?

New licensing applications or major revisions to existing licensing applications need to be publicly advertised at the site and a letter sent to immediate neighbours. In Canterbury major licenses are advertised in the local paper and the threshold or guidance for granting a licence are listed in the Council’s Licensing Strategy.

How do I oppose a licensing application?

Relevant licence applications will be submitted to partner responsible authorities such as Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue, Trading Standards and other council council departments – planning, health and safety and environmental health once validated.

Applications need to be advertised publicly for a period of 28 days. If you wish to object to an application you should do so in writing to [email protected]

On what grounds can I oppose a licensing application?

You can object to a license application on the following grounds:

  • Alcohol, entertainment or late night take away licence: that the licence will cause public nuisance, poses harm to children, will exacerbate crime and disorder and represents a public safety threat
  • Gambling and betting: that the gambling isn’t fair and open, that the licence will pose harm to children and vulnerable people, that the licence will exacerbate crime and disorder
  • Pavement licenses: that the license will exacerbate crime and disorder, represent a threat to public safety, cause highway obstruction and be a nuisance
  • Street trading: that the licence will cause highway obstruction and be a nuisance
  • Sex establishments: that the applicant or location is unsuitable.

All objections are logged and will firstly be put to the applicant to see if they can amend their application to take into consideration the thoughts of local people and statutory arrangements. If a mutual agreement between all parties can not be found the council will call a Licensing Hearing with local councillors.

Can I speak at a licensing committee?

Licensing Committee meetings are advertised on the council website.

You can address the committee by emailing [email protected] no later than 12 noon on the day before the committee. Your petition will be limited to 3 minutes.

How do I apply as homeless with the council?

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Do I have a right to appeal the decision of the council has made on my homeless application?

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How do I apply for a council house?

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Can I exchange my council house with someone else?

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Who do I speak to about ongoing repairs or if my house isn't safe?

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When are my bins collected?

You can search for the day in which your bins are collected on the council website.  Collections follow a regular pattern apart from bank holidays and in order to accommodate special collections i.e. Christmas Trees. Changes to the regular pattern are well advertised on the council’s social media.

Unfortunately the council no longer publishes a printed timetable of your collection dates. However you can download and print your own calendar after searching using the link above.

How do I report a missed bin collection?

You should wait until after 3pm on your usual collection day to report a missed bin and can do so by completing an online form.

Unfortunately the council are unable to return and pick up the bin if

  • your waste was put into the wrong bin
  • your bin was not in the right place for collection
  • your bin was too heavy or damaged
  • your bin was not left out by 6am on your collection day
  • you don’t report it within 36 hours of your collection date

You can also report your missed bin collection to your local councillor who can request a collection on your behalf if you are unhappy with the service.

 

How do I get a new bin or have it repaired?

If your bin was stolen, not there when you moved into a property or damaged by someone else, then you’ll need to buy a new bin or box. If your bin has been damaged or broken by Serco during the collection then your bin may be replaced.

To buy a new bin call SERCO on 0800 031 9091. Prices are listed online

If you bin has been damaged by SERCO operators please ring the number above and they will endeavour to repair your bin.

Where do I apply for charged green waste collections?

Green waste is a charged for collection from the 1st of July 2020 and you can apply online at www.canterbury.gov.uk/garden. If you haven’t applied and made payment by this date your bin won’t be collected.

Residents who opt into the scheme will be sent a sticker to show that they have paid. Residents can also apply to the council to convert there old green bin into one in which they can deposit paper and card for recycling.

Details of costs are available here.

What type of anti social behaviour can I report to the council?

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What powers do the council have to stop anti social behaviour?

What can the council do about anti social behaviour?

How do I apply for a blue badge?

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How do I apply for residents parking?

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How do I appeal a parking ticket?

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How do I appeal get yellow lines outside my house?

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Can I speak at council meetings?

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Can I attend council meetings?

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Who do send a petition to?

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