The way the planning process works is that an applicant submits a planning application to UDC, and if it meets certain criteria, including size, it goes before the UDC Planning Committee for a decision. The Planning Committee is made up of members we elect to the council every 4 years, and it is designed that way to make sure that there is accountability to the electorate.
We ask a lot of these folks and they are often put in a difficult place because each application will have its fors and againsts. Most times the Planning Committee supports the UDC planning officers’ recommendation, but not always. And they can come in for criticism when they don’t.
Although not huge, planning application UTT/13/1126/FUL was for 14 homes in the centre of Stansted. It was recommended by the UDC officers for development, but at a recent UDC Planning Committee meeting the members almost unanimously turned it down.
There is more about the Stansted application on Cllr Alan Dean’s always excellent blog, including why it was unacceptable and why the UDC Planning Committee made
the right decision opposing the planning officer’s recommendation. In his strive for transparency Alan Dean is by far the best councillor when it comes to the web and social media. When he couldn’t make the Planning Committee meeting, he even submitted his opposition to the Stansted development via YouTube. See it below.
Cllr Alan Dean’s Planning Committee Submission for UTT/13/1126/FUL