West Alvington Parish Council

Town and Country Planning

The Parish Council are not directly involved in the making of any application for planning permission on land within the Parish. If you are wanting or needing to make an application for Planning Consent or to obtain information about this you should do this via SHDC. (see below)

The Parish Council is however a consultee of South Hams District Council on any planning applications made to SHDC affecting land within the boundaries of the Parish. (And sometimes  on land near to the Parish boundary). The Parish Council are invited to comment on all applications for consent affecting land within the Parish. When we become aware of an application we will place this on our Agenda for discussion at a meeting. Individual Councillors may wish to inspect the location prior to deciding at a meeting on our agreed recommendation.

Although individual Councillors are always free to air their personal opinion on a planning applications please understand that this will not necessarily coincide with the eventual decision of the Parish Council taken after full discussion and consideration of all relevant matters.

(See below for details of how planning procedures apply to the Parish Council)

Members of the public have the right to comment on most types of planning applications

To comment on, find out more about the application, view plans and associated document and when the consultation process ends you need to go to the SHDC planning page on their website and click on  Search for a Planning Application.

Click here for the SHDC planning page

We include a link to search for applications:  apps.southhams.gov.uk/PlanningSearchMVC/

NB: These links are external to the Parish Council and may change or not work. In case of difficulty browse to the SHDC website and select Planning 

Do I need to get planning permission?

The SHDC website contains a page devoted to information as to when you might need to obtain planning consent for your own projects

SHDC say "Some extensions and alterations to your home can be carried out without requiring planning permission; this is known as permitted development (PD).   Household planning rules are complicated but there are tools SHDC recommend to help you work out if you do need to apply for permission to do it. These tools will help you decide if you need to apply for permission. They do not, however, give you a definitive source of legal information."


You may wish to consult an expert to advise you - legal and/or architectural

Concerned about a possible planning breach?

The Parish Council is not involved directly in Planning enforcement, and has no wish or requirement to 'check up' on Parishioners, or to determine whether, or not, any planning rules or consents are being properly observed.  Any concerned individual(s) can report concerns directly to South Hams District Council. They have to identify themselves and cannot do this anonymously. The Parish Council's only role on planning is to be consulted by SHDC for our opinion on initial planning applications - see below.

However if we are informed by anyone in the Parish of what appears to us to be a breach of planning control, or we become aware ourselves of this, we can properly consider this at a Parish Council meeting, and if the meeting so resolves, contact SHDC enforcement with our concerns.

It is important to understand that we have no special status and we can only comment in exactly the same way that any private individual can. 

There is currently a SHDC website page dealing with reporting planning breaches or problems:


The role of the Parish Council on Planning Applications

The Parish Council is a consultee of South Hams District Council on any planning application made to SHDC affecting land within the boundaries of the Parish. And sometime on land near to the Parish boundary.

As a Parish Council we have in the past been sent a copy of the paper application with plans and reports submitted by the applicant to SHDC. As of 2019 this procedure may be changing and we will no longer receive these paper copies and need to go online to SHDC to obtain electronically based details of applications.

However we receive planning application details we are asked to consider carefully and give our views to SHDC on whether after consideration we think that any application should be granted or refused and if the latter giving our planning reasons for same.

The Parish Council will not wish to suggest refusal of any application unless we are convinced that it seriously conflicts with the relevant guidelines. The whole of our Parish lies within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and national policy suggests that the protection of the AONB should be given the highest priority. We also need to consider whether the application could adversely affect the Estuary. This is protected Site of Special Scientific Interest and we need to be certain that Natural England have been notified of any application likely to affect its fauna fish and birds and any other natural life.

How do we consider applications?

South Hams District Council tend to apply the following planning considerations and we strive to follow the same considerations:

(a)  National, Regional and or Local and or Neighbourhood Plan Policy requirements. If any of the above are not fully formed then the emerging policies may need to be considered.

(b)  Consultees, Land Owners and Members of the Public's views

(c)  Case specific factors. These are by definition individual to the case in question and there is no hard and fast rule, but examples can include/exclude:

MATERIAL                                             NOT MATERIAL

Design/Siting/External appearance       The Applicant
Visual Impact                                         Land Ownership
Privacy/Overbearing                              Private rights eg access
Loss of light                                            Restrictive Covenants
Access/Traffic/Highway safety               Property Values
Noise/Smell/Pollution                             Loss of private views
Flood risk                                               Number of objections/support
Tourism and Economic impact

Applicants are welcome to attend a meeting at which we discuss their application. We will want to allow any applicant to address us on their application. We sometime will wish to inspect the site of the application and if appropriate may ask applicants to afford the Parish Council facilities for allowing access so that we can properly consider their application.

Given that we only have one meeting a month there are sometimes extremely tight deadlines for our consideration of Planning Applications and we may sometimes have no alternative but to request an extension of time. We try to avoid this if at all possible.