Development control (planning applications)

We have a duty to notify parish and town councils of all planning applications made within their area and will consider any views expressed by you and other consultees. Parish and town councils have 21 days from the date of registration of the application to submit written comments to the Planning team either by email, letter or through our online planning system where you can also view and track the progress of applications.

All comments received are published on this website and also on the application file which is available for public inspection and copying. The comments are considered as part of the determination of the application and as part of any resulting appeal.

Comments should be focused on the merits or concerns about the development, such as:·

  • how it will affect the surrounding area
  • highway safety
  • the design of the proposed development

Some matters will not be considered in planning applications and these are shown below. This applies across the country following a decision in the courts

  • the effect on property value
  • loss of a private view
  • loss of acquired rights to light
  • suspicion about future intentions
  • personal circumstances of the applicant

For further information regarding the planning application process or to discuss a specific planning application please email the Planning team.

Developer contributions

Section 106 contributions ensure that the impact of a new development does not have a detrimental effect on the local infrastructure. The contributions from the developer can only be sought to mitigate the impact of a particular development.

These agreements between developers and the council are called 'planning obligations' and under Section 106 of the Planning Act 1990 they are legally binding. Planning obligations can range from funding a play area to providing some affordable housing in the area. A development that requires contributions will not receive planning permission until the planning obligations with the developer have been agreed.

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) are produced to help developers see what planning obligations may be required. We have produced an SPD relevant for all new housing development proposals, these documents are available to view in our Planning policy section They set out the councils' approach to ensuring there are sufficient open space and sports facilities around new developments to promote wellbeing.

A new form of securing planning obligations to supplement and co exist with s106 is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). It has been designed to be generally paid up front and is a levy calculated on the size and type of development, usually for off site infrastructure (s106 continuing to secure on-site provision). The sums collected will be spent on infrastructure that can include the types listed above for s106.

Although CIL is not currently in use in West Suffolk, work has begun to explore its introduction but at this time no final decision has been made to introduce it. Find out more about the Community Infrastructure Levy at the Planning Advisory Service

West Suffolk councils' role in the process is to work with the developer to secure the appropriate contributions and then ensure that the payments are received and spent on the appropriate projects. We recognise the important role that parish and town councils can play in shaping the development of their parish and we work closely with parishes to ensure the best use of the contributions that come forward as part of the development process.

Parish and town councils are encouraged to take an active role in identifying the potential impact and mitigations of a development in their area. This includes open spaces and recreational facilities that would be in need of enhancement. Early identification of such areas would allow a more focused and less generalised provision of Section 106. For further information regarding developer contributions or to discuss a specific agreement please contact our Planning team.