Planning law question:

Dear Sir / Madam I am trying to establish the intended meaning of the document below. I would usually seek advice from my own Solicitor but, having already lost my tussle with the Council, this would be a waste of my resources. This is purely of academic interest. The simple question is as follows: Is it the case that all Householder applications are to be decided by the planning officer ? or, are the exceptions listed in (2) applicable to householder applications (1) ? The Council and the Ombudsman believe it is the former. However, they do accept that exception (h) would apply to householder applications. They do not accept that exception (b) should therefore also apply. In my humble opinion, an application that receives two or more valid objections should go before the planning committee. Who is correct ? Taken from the Constitution of the Mole Valley District Council: Planning Development Management Functions Subject to the reference to the Development Control Committee of any matter at the discretion of the Corporate Head with responsibility for Development Management, or following a written request, from a Member (received within 28 days of the publication of the application on the weekly planning list, stating the reason for the referral) (N.B. requests regarding tree pruning and certificate of lawfulness applications and prior approvals are not referred to committee), to take all actions and make all decisions relating to the following Council functions: 1. All householder and tree planning applications. 2. All other applications for planning permission, advertisement consent, Listed Building and Conservation Area consent and prior approvals, except for the following categories which will be determined by the Development Control Committee. a) Permissions for all residential development applications involving more than four dwellings. b) Permissions where more than two objections have been received or there is an objection relating to their area from a Parish Council or Residents’ Association, where the objections in all cases raise material planning considerations. c) Permissions for development which depart significantly from the Local Plan. d) Permissions for non-residential development Corporate Head with responsibility for Development Management Constitution of the Council Part 3 – Responsibility for Functions Delegation of Powers 82 involving more than 1,000 square metres of additional floorspace except for agricultural buildings. e) Permissions for changes of use outside the built up areas involving more than 1,000 square metres of floorspace. f) Permissions for changes of use involving existing shops where objections have been received. g) District Council applications except for householder type or other similar minor proposals, where no objections raising material planning consideration have been submitted. h) Applications submitted by District Councillors or Officers within the Planning Department. i) Applications submitted by other Officers of the Council, if any objections raising material planning considerations have been received. j) Observations on: • Minerals and waste applications determined by the Surrey County Council other than approval of details and other minor developments • Proposals referred by Surrey County Council, adjoining Planning Authorities, Government Departments and statutory undertakers in those cases where such proposals are likely to affect this District significantly.

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