People are sometimes concerned or confused about how planning applications are decided in our areas – particularly if they are controversial.
In fact, the Town Council does not have the power to reject or approve a planning application. That is down to the planning authority which is Wiltshire Council. But the town council is a statutory consultee – and that means it has to be notified of all planning applications in the Westbury area so it can use its local knowledge to comment. Comments are agreed at the council’s highways, planning and development committee which is held every month. Once these comments are agreed, they are sent by the town clerk to Wiltshire Council where the final decision is made, taking into account planning policies, consultation responses and representations from local people.
If an application is particularly large or considered controversial, one of Westbury’s unitary councillors can request it to be considered by Wiltshire Council’s planning committee.
“Did you know? You can find out about planning applications in your area by visiting Wiltshire Council planning site: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/”
“Did you know? Wiltshire Council deals with around 10,000 applications per year”
“Did you know? Westbury Town Council holds its highways, planning and development meetings on the third Monday of each month. Everyone is welcome to attend.”
Westbury Town Council prepared a document, to explain the current planning process, the town council’s part in this process and where the responsibility lies for deciding if an application is approved or not.
If you would like to find out more, take a look at The Planning Process.
For information: Ash Die Back Information and Guidance Note 2020 from Wiltshire Council (21.07.2020) – the full details can be found here
Westbury Town Council (WTC) is not a highway authority and has no enforcement power or the power to make decisions on highway related matters. This is the responsibility of Wiltshire Council (WC).
The town council will work with Wiltshire Council to resolve highway problems and issues.
Individuals can raise highways concerns, such as traffic problems, road repairs and layouts and parking issues, as well as requesting traffic surveys owing to speeding, through the town council.
If you have an highways issue(s), you can complete the ‘Report a Highways Improvement Issue Form’ it is very important to clearly explain the nature of the issue(s); what you consider might be the problem or cause, and what measure you would recommend that would either mitigate or resolve the issue(s). In your recommendation, please include information, such as precisely saying from point A to point B, is where you would like lines, bollards, traffic calming measures etc. to be placed on the highway. Providing photos and or drawings are always helpful. Finally, if you could indicate the frequency, you have witnessed the occurrence of this fault or incident would help in deciding the appropriate priority of response.
If you are concerned about speeding traffic, you can complete the ‘Traffic Survey Request Form’ and use the ‘Traffic Survey Request Process and Information’ document to help you. On the form you can suggest the best place(s) for the survey to be located, which must be somewhere with an electrical connection, like a streetlight. You can confirm the location link by using the ‘What3Words’. Traffic surveys are undertaken by placing parallel lines across the highway with an electric charge running through to collect the data. The survey will be placed as close to the suggested location as possible, considerations including safety of operatives are reviewed before a final location is selected. Again, please indicate on the form how often / time of day, you have noticed speeding at this location.
Once complete the form(s) should be emailed to WTC at: email@example.com. The forms will be past to the appropriate team members to follow up and its placement on the next available agenda of the relevant committee (usually Highways, Planning and Development / HP&D). You can attend the meeting and speak further about the issue if they wish. A member of staff will discuss this with you and make all arrangements as necessary.
When the request is reviewed at the meeting, the committee are asked to adopt the following options when making a resolution:
- That they do not consider this issue is of sufficient seriousness to be taken forward at this time.
- That the matter is of sufficient seriousness to be of immediate consideration by the Community Area Transport Group (CATG).
- That the matter is of sufficient seriousness to be considered a town council priority worthy of a contribution to the cost.
If the committee choose option 1. that will normally mean the matter will not be taken any further.
If the committee choose option 2. or 3. It will be forwarded to CATG for further consideration and actioning.
The Local Highway and Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG) (formally Community Area Transport Group (CATG))
LHFIG is a subgroup of the Community Area Boards* that specifically deals with highway issues and is normally be made up of not more than 10 members from the following groups:
- Members of the Area Board
- Town and Parish council representatives
- Community representatives
Meetings will be attended by relevant officers from Wiltshire Council including a senior transport planner, a senior traffic engineer and a local highway maintenance engineer, as necessary. Their key purpose is to offer advice and support to the group, but they do not vote on the issues raised. Local Wiltshire Council members, town and parish council representatives and stakeholders from the community.
LHFIG may also invite representatives from local organisations to its meetings to give technical advice or to share local knowledge.
*Area Boards are a way of working together to bring local decision making into the community. Meetings take place in each community, with different task groups, including local people, Wiltshire Council and Councillors, to tackle local issues and find solutions to take forward to the next areas board. More info can be found here.
More information and all the forms can be found on Wiltshire Council website and these pages: