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Site Inspection Protocol

The purpose of site visits is to enable Members to view particular aspects of an application in context. No decision is reached on site and there is no debate as to outcome at the site meeting.


In addition to the Council's officers and advisors (e.g. County Highways), those who are entitled to attend and take part and who make up the Site Inspection Panel are:

a. All Development Management Committee Members, and

b. The SHDC Member(s) representing the Ward in which the site is located

The applicant/agent will be informed of the site inspection arrangements including this protocol. They may attend the site meeting but not participate, however, they will be expected to 'peg out' the proposed development, to include a demonstration of height where appropriate.

The relevant Parish/Town Council will be informed of the site visit arrangements including this protocol. Representatives of the respective Parish/Town Council may attend the site meeting but not participate.

At the discretion of the Chairman, the applicant or agent, and one representative from the Parish/Town Council, may be allowed to answer questions of clarity.

Specific requests to view the proposal from a particular place (e.g. objector's home) may be accommodated at the Chairman's discretion.

South Hams Council Planning Site Inspections are public meetings however only Members of the Site Inspection Panel can take part.

The Ward Members are able to ask questions of clarity on behalf of residents.

Procedure on Site:

  1. The site inspection will be chaired by the Chairman (or in his absence, the Vice Chairman) who will formally open the site inspection with introductions and reinforce the purpose of site inspections. He will then invite the Planning Officer to describe the application
  2. The Planning Officer then describes the proposal and relevant site specific considerations, and guides the Members to appropriate vantage points which may be within and/or outside the site
  3.  The Chairman will invite questions from Members to seek clarification but not opinion from the Planning Officer and advisors. At the Chairman's discretion, and in exceptional circumstances, questions may be asked of the applicant/agent or one representative of the Parish/Town Council
  4. Any questions that the Case Officer is unable to answer will be listed and a full response given by the Case Officer at the Committee meeting
  5.  Chairman formally closes the meeting

To request a site inspection

The Scheme of Delegation sets out the circumstances when a Member can call an application to Committee. At that point, if the Member feels a site inspection should take place, the request should be made in writing to COP Lead Development Management giving material planning reasons.

At the DM Committee Briefing meeting the Chairman and Vice Chairman will discuss with the COP Lead Development Management which applications should be referred for site inspection. This briefing is held the day prior to the publication of the agenda, and attended by

  • the Chairman,
  • Vice Chairman,
  • COP Lead Development Management and
  • Specialist - Democratic Services. 

The final decision on applications to be referred for site inspection will be delegated to the COP Lead Development Management and material planning reasons given for his decisions.

The site inspection itinerary will be prepared by the Specialist - Democratic Services and circulated prior to the site inspections taking place. The itinerary will be included as part of the agenda.

The site inspection will take place on the Monday prior to the Committee date, and Members will receive their agenda prior to the site inspection taking place.

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