Planning - Service Standards

The Service:

The majority of the functions carried out by the Councils Planning Team are a statutory duty, that is, they are required to be carried out by law. We deal with the following:

  • Planning applications;
  • Listed building consent;
  • Tree Preservation Orders; and
  • Planning enforcement cases.

The team also deals with project work including responding to the proposals at Hinkley Point for the potential new power station.

In addition we also provide the following:

  • advice to people wishing to make a planning application;
  • maintain records of Listed Buildings;
  • deal with planning appeals against decisions of the Council;
  • respond to applications made to the County Council in West Somerset; and
  • respond to searches from people interested in purchasing properties in West Somerset.

Our Key Service Aims Are To:

  • Give an informative reply to letters and emails within 14 days;
  • Register a valid planning application within 3 working days;
  • Notify an applicant within 7 days if an application is invalid with an explanation of how it can be corrected via their preferred method of communication;
  • Visit every site in relation to an application within 3 weeks of registration;
  • Determine most applications in a timely manner in accordance with the planning policies and guidance we have put in place;
  • Inform applicants where a decision on an application is likely to exceed the target date;
  • Give neighbours and parish councils 21 days to comment on applications and a further 14 days to comment on significant amendments;
  • Publish all planning applications on the Council’s website;
  • Make Committee Reports available on the website 5 working days before the Committee;
  • Notify the applicant or agent within 5 working days of the decision being made.
  • Respond to complaints regarding unauthorised development as soon as possible and keep you informed about our progress;
  • To advise applicants / agents who have sought advice from us before making their application if a new issue, not previously discussed, is raised during the consideration of an application; and
  • Respond to service complaints within 21 days.

The Planning Team’s Key Local Performance Indicators Are:

  • To determine 65% of Major Applications within 13 weeks;
  • To determine 70% of Minor Applications within 8 weeks;
  • To determine 85% of Other Applications within 8 weeks;
  • To ensure that only 20% of Planning Appeals are allowed;
  • To ensure that 60% of all Enforcement matters are concluded within 12 weeks;
  • To ensure that 80% of our customers consider that the service they receive from the Planning Team is ‘good’ or above; and
  • To ensure that 75% of Town and Parish Councils consider that the service they receive from the Planning Team is ‘good’ or above.

You Can Help By:

  • Contacting us in advance of making a planning application to discuss your proposals;
  • Using the information and forms available on our website to ensure that when you submit an application to us that you have provided all the correct information in order for us to process your application;
  • Completing the form available on our website when you wish to enquire whether or not you need planning permission for your proposals.

Your Right To Equal Treatment:

West Somerset Council is committed to giving an equal service to all. This means that customers should not be treated any differently because of their gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Your Right To Complain:

Things can go wrong, and we can make mistakes. If you are dissatisfied with something the Council has done, that you think is wrong or unjust, you should let us know and we will try to put things right to your satisfaction.

You can:

Further Information:

For any further information visit the West Somerset Council website at or telephone 01643 703704.