The Local Government Association last month issued an updated version of Probity in Planning, its guidance for officers and councillors.
The guidance, which was originally published in 2013, clarifies how councillors can get involved in planning discussions on plan making and on applications, on behalf of their communities in a fair, impartial and transparent way, the LGA said.
The updated version covers:
- The planning system and the role of decision makers.
- Councillor and officer conduct.
- Registration and disclosure of interests.
- Predisposition, predetermination, or bias.
- Development proposals.
- Lobbying of and by councillors.
- Discussions before a decision is taken.
- Officer reports to committee.
- Public speaking at planning committees.
- Decisions which differ from a recommendation.
- Committee site visits.
- Reviewing past planning decisions and the outcomes.
- Complaints and record keeping.
- List of references.
- Appendix 1 Flowchart of councillors’ interests.
The LGA stressed that the guide has been written for officers and councillors involved in making planning decisions in their local authority “and does not constitute legal advice”.