We are committed to delivering a planning service that that meets the needs of our customers and therefore welcome feedback about the service provided.
The service offer follows a comprehensive review carried out by officers and elected Members between July 2013 and February 2014 which identified a number of actions to improve the speed and quality of planning decisions, based on feedback received from service users. A report setting out this review and the actions for improvement was considered by the council's Scrutiny Board, Cabinet and Planning Board in March 2014 and received widespread endorsement.
The team has developed a service charter which sets out what applicants and agents can expect through our pre-application service, during the application process and after the decision has been made.
An online survey is available for you to provide general observations and rate your overall satisfaction with the service that you have received.
If you wish to make a specific complaint about the service provided, please refer to our complaints procedure available at Mendip Customer Feedback. You should, however, be aware that complaints about a decision made by the council in its role as local planning authority cannot be addressed through this procedure because planning legislation provides recourse available to challenge decisions. Furthermore, decisions cannot be altered or withdrawn by the council once they have been issued.
Challenging an Approval
If you wish to challenge a decision by the council to grant permission or approval, the only option available is to seek a judicial review and independent legal advice should therefore be sought. Please note that for a challenge to succeed, it will need to be demonstrated the council's decision has failed on a point of law such as the decision being illegal, procedurally incorrect or irrational, and not simply because you disagree with it. There are also strict time limits in order to make an application to the courts (currently six weeks from the decision date).
If you wish to challenge a decision by the council to refuse permission, or any conditions attached to a permission, there is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State. Alternatively, you could utilise the council's pre-application advice service to explore with officers whether the reasons for refusal could be addressed through a re-submitted application. Details of the planning appeal process and our pre-application advice service are available on our website at Mendip Planning pages.
There is a forum for planning agents, who are regular service users, to discuss the planning service provided, identify areas for improvement and review general planning issues at a national or local level.
Click here to view Planning Agents Forum Presentation 22.10.14 [116kb]
Click here to view Planning Agents Forum 22.10.14 [399kb]
Click here to view Planning Agents Forum Presentation 15.01.15 [114kb]
Click here to view Planning Agents Forum 15.01.15 [302kb]
A date for the next Forum will be made available soon.
These meetings start at 18:00 and take place in the Council Chamber at MDC's offices in Shepton Mallet.