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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:

  • All planning applications are published via this website enabling people to view and comment on them
  • The applicant will be asked to advertise the application on site by way of a yellow site notice

  • Where possible the Case Officer will visit the site and surroundings to assess the impact of the application

  • The Case Officer will assess the proposal against all relevant material considerations.  A key material consideration is whether or not the proposal is in accordance with planning policy, including the land use zoning in the relevant Local or Area Plan (see  Regard will also be had to the characteristics of the site, other relevant strategies and evidence base, and material considerations which are raised within 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. The officer will consider all of these matters and their findings and recommendations will be presented in a formal planning officer report which will make up part of the application file, as a public document.  Follow link for Guidance on Design Considerations for residential developments.

  • As part of the assessment the officer must consider all comments received and the individuals / authorities' interest and make a recommendation in relation to whether Interested Person Status should be awarded. Those with Interested Person Status are afforded third party rights of appeal which is special to the Isle of Man planning process. Assessment of who is afforded interested party status is defined by an Operational Policy. A person afforded such status may, within the timescale allowed, appeal against a decision.

  • 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.  The circumstances in which the Planning Committee should determine an application are set out in in the 'Standing Orders of 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 be determined by an Officer with Delegated Powers, the Case Officers will prepare a report for their consideration and determination

  • If the application is to go before Planning Committee, the officers report will be included in the meeting 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 at the meetings

  • The application will either be approved with appropriate conditions if necessary, or refused. If the application is refused or is approved by the Planning Committee and the Case Officer recommended refusal, the reasons for the decision will be given

  • 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 the working day 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

  • An interested person 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

More information about appealing a decision.

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