Following concerns raised by residents about the difficulty in understanding what has been changed when amendments are submitted to complex planning applications, the Parish Council wrote to Paula Fox the South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) Planning Service Development Manager.
The Parish Council suggested that it is made a requirement that when applicants submit amendments they also provide a document identifying in detail the changes from previous versions. This would make it easier for all the parties involved to assess the changes more quickly.
The council has had this response from Ms Fox:
“I can confirm that we will now be requesting a covering letter from applicants when they submit amendments. We will upload the relevant letter onto our website so it can be read alongside the amended plans.
I think this will hopefully be helpful but I need to make you aware of two potential issues. Firstly, we cannot refuse to consider amended plans that do not have a covering letter, and secondly we have, in the past, had experience of a covering letter not being comprehensive and detailing all the relevant changes.
Planning Officers will therefore always check exactly what has been amended and we would advise you to be alert to this. In controversial or complex cases I would recommend contacting the case officer to check the full extent of any amendments.
Thank you for raising this matter and I hope my comments are of assistance.”