A Parish Council has a duty to respond diligently and thoroughly to all planning applications. A Parish Council’s response must be based objectively on planning issues alone. Balcombe Parish Council’s response to the Cuadrilla application was undertaken on this basis. The OEWG was tasked with making a thorough and detailed review of the application and identifying all planning issues which could be of concern to the community. This work was begun before the results of the consultative ballot were known, and in no way prejudged the results of the poll. The resulting report would have been submitted without any changes regardless of the results of the poll. In addition to detailed comments on planning issues a parish council is entitled to include a statement on the collective opinion of the community. BPC has done this by including the results of the poll in its response to the planning application. The content of the Council’s response to Cuadrilla’s application was approved by the full Council at its meeting on 8th March 2014.
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