The Parish Council's Role in Planning Applications​​

A parish council will be kept informed of any local changes such as to rights of way, planning applications and road works.  In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, the Parish Council will engage with the local community to understand their views about issues such as planning, roads and highways. Councillors also make representations on the behalf of their community with statutory bodies such as district, county councils and highways.

How do parish councils comment on planning applications?

  • Potter Heigham Parish Council is a consultee in planning matters, but does not determine planning applications - this is done by North Norfolk District Council.  The Parish Council will receive notification of planning applications from North Norfolk District Council, and these will be discussed at the next Council meeting.  Members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings, and an opportunity to comment on the application is available at the start of the meeting.  Residents should note that they are not permitted to speak on the application after the 'Public Participation' session.

  • The comments agreed in the council meeting are submitted in writing by the Parish Clerk to the relevant planning authority. This process is the same as that of an individual wishing to comment on a planning application.

  • Parish councils are only consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment or not on applications.  The planning authority can only take material considerations into account when determining a planning application.


Parish Councils can comment on:

  • Central and local government policy and guidance

  • Replies from agencies such as Environment Agency, Highways Authority

  • Representations from others - neighbours and other interested parties

  • Effects on an area - character, over-development, layout, position, design and external appearance of buildings and landscaping 

  • The need to safeguard valuable resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves

  • Highway safety issues - such as traffic generation, road capacity, means of access,

  • Public services - such as drainage and water supply 

  • Effects on individual buildings - such as overlooking, loss of light, overshadowing, visual intrusion, noise, disturbance and smell

  • Effects on a specially designated area or building - such as green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings

  • Effects on existing tree cover and hedgerows 

  • Nature conservation interests - such as protection of badgers, great crested newts  

  • Public rights of way

  • Flooding or pollution

  • Precedent - where the proposal would inevitably lead to inappropriate development

  • The proposed type and colour of the materials to be used 

  • The exact nature of any proposed planting or boundary treatment


Parish Councils may not comment on:

  • Speculation over future use

  • The identity of the applicant or occupant 

  • Unfair competition 

  • Boundary disputes 

  • Breach of covenants and personal property rights, including personal (not Public) rights of way 

  • Loss of a private view 

  • Devaluation of property 

Where can I find more information about submitting a Planning Application?

Information about planning is available on the national Planning Portal.  This website contains a wealth of information about when planning permission is required, how you can apply for it, and how the process works.  You can also submit your planning application through the Planning Portal.

For more detailed local advice, you can contact the North Norfolk District Council Planning Department who can advise on your individual application - note that a charge may be made for this service.  You can also find the Local Plan (the framework document which states how applications will be considered) and more localised Neighbourhood Plans (Potter Heigham does not have one).