Smaller councils’ input ‘should be taken into account’

More than 90 parish and town councils have responded to plans for changes to the planning service in Northumberland.

They are all concerned about the proposal to remove the automatic trigger currently in place for the referral of an application to a planning committee when objections are made by these authorities and others such as moving from the three area planning committees to two county-wide committees.

A Stannington Parish Council statement said: ‘There is a real risk that the valuable role which town and parish councils play in the planning process will be undermined to the detriment of the communities we serve.

‘We want to work with the county council and other town and parish councils to establish a planning system, including effective consultation mechanisms, and we are seeking a collaborative approach from all parties on this important issue.’