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Role of Divisional Ward Member in Planning

Elected Division Ward Members can be contacted directly by the public regarding planning applications. Members are able to influence and comment on decisions that have been made by the authority. This enables Members to best represent the interests of their community; and ultimately helps deliver better decision making. At the same time, the role of elected Members is subject to both statutory control and guidance that governs the conduct and responsibilities of elected Members in carrying out their roles. An awareness of the key issues is relevant to the carrying out of these functions.

As elected representatives of the local community, Members are entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions on local issues that affect their area. This includes providing for new development, protecting the environment and delivering social progress through the proper planning of their areas. This includes the full range of housing, employment, retail and leisure provision, and some less obvious but equally vital issues such as meeting the need for waste-management facilities and minerals development.

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As representatives of the community, Members will also have a role in representing their wards when there are planning applications in their area. This may be as a Ward Member or, if they act as a member of the Planning Committee, they will need to consider applications in the context of their wider responsibility to the authority in excise of their functions on that committee in the determination of individual planning applications.

The Member planning protocol is available here to download and is a flow diagram showing how Divisional Ward Members get involved in the planning process.