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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 we will visit the site and surroundings to assess the impact of the application and ensure the site notice has been appropriately placed.
  • We will assess the proposal against planning policies, taking into account 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 measure all these matters against the merits of the proposal. 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.
  • As part of the assessment the officer must consider all comments received, their weight in planning terms and the individuals / authorities' interest in the site (by proximity of land ownership) for interested party status. 'Interested parties' 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 a Government Circular. A person afforded such status may, within the timescale allowed, appeal against a decision.
  • The decision on whether or not to approve an application will either be made by a planning officer in accordance with the delegation scheme, by the Planning Committee or, if it is a Departmental Planning application, by the Council of Ministers. The criteria for ‘level of determination’ is explained in the 'Standing Orders of the Planning Committee'
  • The officer's report is presented to the Planning Committee or, if the determination can be made under delegated authority, to an appropriate officer of the Directorate.
  • Where the application is to be decided by the Planning Committee the meeting agenda will be available a week 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. In either circumstance reasons for the decision will be given along with justification based on relevant planning issues and policy.
  • 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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