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The planning system has to operate in accordance with a legal framework. This is established by Parliament. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has implications for local policy-making and how applications are assessed. The NPPF presumption is in favour of sustainable development.

However, on a day-to-day basis, the application of planning policy is more relevant. This is found in the local development plan, which in our area is the responsibility of Wiltshire Council, and they have a statutory obligation to keep this updated.

Planning applications are considered in the context of the local development plan and neighbourhood plans – the latter are discretionary.

Small villages may well be unsustainable (Firsdown is in this category) and development will only be permitted within the village envelope – But this does not protect against development.


Advice from the planning department at Wiltshire Council can be obtained via this link:



The Parish Council has the statutory right to be notified of any planning applications within its boundaries prior to them being considered by Wiltshire Council. The Parish Council can choose whether or not to make a response but it is not the decision-making body. Parish Councillors will often visit the site and view from outside the boundary e.g. from public land, before the application is considered at the Parish Council meeting. The meeting agenda will list the planning application number, as will this website.

The applicant is welcome to attend the meeting and make a statement to the Parish Council if they wish to do so.

The Parish Council will make one of the following recommendations, based on majority voting.

No comment – e.g. where the Parish Council is notified about an application within its boundary, and the application isn’t a problem. There is no obligation on the Parish Council to respond to notification or to pass comments.


No objection – The Parish Council sees no reason to object to the application and has no further comments to add.

Support – The Parish Council endorses the application and wishes to highlight that its approval may bring wider benefits to the whole community. The reasons for support will be documented.

Support subject to conditions – e.g. requesting that a summer house remains just that, and is not used for residential purposes, and remains always within the curtilage of the property.

Object – The Parish Council believes the application would be detrimental to immediate neighbors or the wider community. The reasons will be documented.

The application and the recommendation of the Parish Council will then be forwarded by the Parish clerk, to the Wiltshire Council planning department. In the event of the Parish Council raising an objection, the Parish Council can “call-in” for the application to be considered by a full meeting of the planning committee of Wiltshire Council.

Planning Applications Received

Planning Reference

View more at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planning-applications-search