The role of the Lenham Parish Council (LPC) Planning and Implementation Committee (P&I) is to review all planning applications submitted in Lenham Parish, from small house extensions to large scale residential and commercial development, then provide an opinion to Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) on whether the LPC Planning Committee objects or does not object. MBC is not bound by the LPC Planning Committee’s opinion but must consider it.
The P&I Committee sits on the Monday after the F&GP committee of every month (excluding bank holidays). Each meeting begins with a period of public participation which lasts for half an hour. This enables someone with a planning application to speak to the Committee to explain why it should support their plan. Additionally, it allows opponents of planning applications to explain their views to the Committee.
So, it can be very beneficial to attend the meeting, not only as a singleton applicant but also if you are a developer wanting to build one or more houses or you are a parishioner concerned about any development.
All planning applications submitted in Maidstone Borough can be viewed on the MBC website. As the Chairman of the LPC P&I Committee I would encourage you to use this facility to view any proposals for development within the Parish that you have an interest in.
The website is as follows: http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/residents/planning
The page allows you to:
Search for planning applications
Comment on any submitted applications
Obtain pre-application advice if you are planning on submitting an application
Obtain advice on listed buildings, trees, hedges and conservation areas
Planning matters and current building activity
The parish council continues to receive “complaints / comments” about issues linked to some of the building work that is happening.
While the parish council is a statutory consultee during the application process for any building, whether this is by individual householders or development companies, once the proposal is approved by the Planning Authority at Maidstone the responsibility for ensuring the works take place as set out in the approved development plan rest with Maidstone Borough Council.
This role is handled by the Planning Enforcement Team, they can be emailed on: PlanningEnforcement@maidstone.gov.uk or by ‘phone on 01622 602809. Any observations or queries relating to developments should be directed to this team as the parish council is not in a position to "enforce" anything once the approved plan is underway.
We do keep all of the activity on active sites under review and make representations ourselves if we feel that something is not proceeding according to the agreed plan.
Hopefully this clears up some of the potential confusion over the parish council’s role in these matters.