Talk to us about a major development

About our approach

We tailor our approach to each application, however, the need for coordination and management of this approach is vital if the maximum benefit is to be gained.

We take a corporate approach to pre-applications, which is coordinated through a development management case officer.

We will engage a variety of teams, depending on the nature of the proposal, and as standard will involve development management, conservation & urban design, planning policy and highways teams. It may also be necessary to involve trees and countryside, legal, environmental health, housing, leisure, the county archaeologist, the Environment Agency, Highways Agency, English Heritage, Sport England etc.

We encourage developers to adopt a similar approach and bring relevant professional disciplines together as a project team. This will vary depending on the complexity of the project but project leadership, planning, design and highways input tend to be the minimum requirement for a coordinated approach.

Project categories

We approach projects differently, depending on whether they are strategic or major projects:

Strategic projects

Strategic projects have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • 50 dwellings or more.
  • 10,000 square metres of industrial, commercial or retail floorspace.
  • wide corporate involvement by Lichfield District Council.
  • development of more strategic significance e.g. wider regeneration benefits, new transport infrastructure.

Strategic projects require input from all key parties and may well need to involve other disciplines. We will invite developers who are leading on strategic projects to meet with us as early as possible to discuss:

  • Key issues for consideration to be raised early in the process.
  • Identify the need to involve other parties not present at the meeting i.e. statutory consultees.
  • Engagement with members early in the pre-application process.
  • Highlight the need for further information deemed necessary to progress pre-application discussions.
  • Provision of written comments/meeting minutes from us prior to any formal planning application submission.
  • Discussion and agreement of timetable for pre-application discussions and planning application submission and any requirement for a planning performance agreement (PPA).

We have also created a protocol for member engagement in pre-application discussions for strategic proposals to ensure there is wide corporate awareness and input into locally significant or controversial schemes. Councillors are invited to attend initial development team meetings, where they are given the opportunity to hear about the proposals and may ask questions and seek clarification about such proposals.

Major projects

Major projects are of a lesser scale than strategic projects but are still defined as major category planning proposals, as set out in the Town and Country Planning General Development Procedure Order 1995, as amended. For example, 10 to 49 dwellings. They also include projects that are recognised as being of a particularly complex or sensitive nature e.g. inappropriate development in the green belt, development affecting SSSIs etc. These schemes may only require the input from a limited number of consultees but would still benefit from a coordinated approach. 

What to expect 

Prior to the first meeting, the planning development manager or team leader will assign a case officer from development management.

The case officer will be responsible for the following:

  • Communication with the developer or their agent throughout the process.
  • Ensuring that the project is scheduled for the appropriate coordinating meeting(s).
  • Coordination with other parties to obtain their comments, ensure attendance at relevant meetings etc.
  • Monitoring progress on the project and providing update reports to the relevant project meetings.
  • General project management of the process, including informing ward members as appropriate.