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How we decide

Planning has a small team of professional planners working in the Development Management section, who are responsible for the assessment of all planning applications. 

The Officers are allocated applications (both Residential and Commercial) after they have been validated via an administration process. Applications are split for assessment using a ‘North/South’ divide of the Island. Please see Planning Officer areas for guidance as to where the North/South split has been placed. 

After a planning application has been submitted and validated the following steps are followed. 

  • All planning applications are published enabling people to view and comment on them.  This includes making them available on-line and asking the applicant to display a site notice.  For more information see www.gov.im/findapplications
  • The Case Officer will assess the proposal against all relevant material considerations. See www.gov.im/materialconsiderations 
  • The Case Officer must consider any representations made by consultees, (which may include other Government Departments, statutory bodies, interest groups and local authorities) along with any private representations from members of the public. See www.gov.im/planningcomment
  • The Case Officer will present their findings and recommendations in a formal report which will make up part of the application file, as a public document.  This will make a recommendation as to how the application should be determined and also who should be afforded Interested Person Status.  See www.gov.im/interestedperson
  • The application will be determined either by an Officer with Delegated Powers (who is not the Case Officer and has not provided pre-application advice) or the Planning Committee.  Applications which are submitted by DEFA must be determined by the Council of Ministers, to avoid a Conflict of Interest.  The Council of Minsters also has the power to call-in applications, for example where it appears to them that it raises considerations of general importance to the Island.
  • If the application is to go before Planning Committee, the officers report will be included in the  agenda which is available at least 2 working days prior to the meeting. Meetings are open to the public and there is a facility to accommodate public speaking.  For more information see www.gov.im/planningcommittee
  • The applicant or their agent will be notified of the decision by email where an email address has been provided. Members of the public whom have expressed an interest will receive their notice in hard copy via the post. Both the officer report and decision notice will be published on the Department’s website following issue of the decision notice.
  • Once a decision has been made it will not become final until the period in which any planning appeal may be lodged (21 days) has expired.
  • Those who have been afforded ‘Interested Person Status’ may lodge an appeal against the decision but their appeals must meet specific criteria (including a fee) to be valid. Once valid the appeal file will be conveyed to the Cabinet Office to be dealt with by an independent Planning Inspector. The appeal decision will be made by the Minister.  See www.gov.im/planningappeal
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