Quarterly meeting 12 Jan 2016 read more

2015- pre application CI update 
Pre-application and Application stages; the Consultee website and its purpose.

Is Pre-application consultation by developers compulsory?
NO. The NPPF states that pre application community involvement is ‘expected‘,but not required. There is no penalty for not carrying out Pre App CI.
Only Bristol has used the Local Validation Requirements to insist on a Community Involvement Statement to be submitted for Major applications 
 (over 10 residential units or 1000sqm of commercial) and the NPN has been identified as the route for pre app CI discussions. As a result, pre-app consultation has taken root here. Developers do not want to hand in a blank CIS.  

NB. It is important that we do not put developers off talking to residents’ planning groups by having unrealistic expectations of the process and treating it like a planning application.  
Our planning department has taken a bold initiative, which should benefit all parties if handled with discretion.

Why aren’t developers made to consult the wider public pre-application?
– because national planning policy does not require it.  Post application, the public have a statutory right to comment.  Pre-application consultation by the developer is entirely voluntary. Talking to NPN groups can help the developer at the design stage to identify major issues so this encourages the developer to hold pre app CI discussions. 

But isn’t a range of opinion useful?
Not really. The developer and planning department will get that at planning application stage. 
What works best is when the key issues are identified by a local residents’ planning group who are aware of the strategic needs of their area and what are ‘planning’ issues. 
If the developer gets a range of opinions, he can cherry-pick those that support his scheme.

Do all applicants submit a pre application enquiry to Bristol CC?
No. Developers can go straight to planning application, but practically all developers of Major schemes want a steer from the planning officers before submitting a planning application. 

Why isn’t there general access to the Consultee Website?
Because that is not what the Website or formal Preapps are for.  Pre-app enquiries are a service paid for by the developer.  The Website enables the case officer to consult the statutory consultees (archaeology, flood risk, mining, highways etc) before writing his Enquiry Response.
In Bristol, the NPN has been added to those consultees, not to inform the public but to assist the case officer.  It is useful for him to know the key issues raised by informed local opinion. But he does not have time to consider multiple responses (he has to write a Response within the time paid for by the developer).

2016 – NPN quarterly meeting

The next Quarterly meeting is on 12th January 2016. This time it will be held at theUnitarian Church, Brunswick Square, St Paul’s, Bristol, BS2 8PE. It is being jointly led by NPN and Bristol Civic Society.

We will start at 5.30pm as usual with a presentation and discussion about the large volume of specialised student accommodation being developed in the city centre and why there is less residential development.

At 6.0pm Zoe Willcox, service director: Planning, will speak about the impacts on Bristol of the Joint Spatial Plan.
The JSP Issues and Options papers are out for consultation until Jan 29th. here
The papers from the last quarterly meeting presentation on the JSP are on the NPN websitehere.

After the presentation, we will have a discussion about how this impacts on the various areas of Bristol and what response Bristol NPN groups might make.

We expect to see a lot of interest in this meeting, as the proposals in the Joint Spatial Plan are likely to have significant implications for development and transport in the Bristol area, including how Bristol’s roads and public transport will deal with the additional development, so the new venue will allow for a greater number of people to attend.