The Planning Authority which makes decisions on planning applications is Milton Keynes Council and specifically the Development Control Committee or Panel, though minor decisions, where there is no objection by a Ward Councillor or Parish Council, can be made by the Planning Officer.
All applications are published on the MKC website and you can ask for alerts if you are interested. There is a set period for consultation where the statutory consultees, Ward Councillors, Parish Councils and members of the public can comment on applications in support or objection. There are also limited speaking rights available in the decision meeting.
If the application is refused, the applicant can appeal to a government Planning Inspector and there are generous speaking rights in the appeal hearings.
The Parish Council is a "statutory consultee" alongside bodies such as MK Highways or Education, Health and Police. It has some extra consultation and speaking rights and all applications are on the published agenda for its meetings and residents can speak at the Open Forum before each Parish Council meeting.
Decisions are made by law only on the basis of Planning Policies published in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Milton Keynes' Local Plan, Plan:MK. The Local Plan includes the Policies set by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan such as we have in Castlethorpe which is why the Neighbourhood Plan is so important.
Of course anyone else can object to or support an application as well. You can find details of planning applications relating to Castlethorpe on the MKC Planning Public Access site by clicking here. In the box marked "Enter a keyword, reference number, postcode or single line of an address" type Castlethorpe (or Hanslope or any other area you are interested in) and click on the Search button.
As you may recall, the Parish Council is modifying our Neighbourhood Plan to keep it current. We explained the content in a leaflet at the end of January and held an Open Day at the Village Hall. As a result, a number of small changes were made and the Plan was then submitted to Milton Keynes Council.
Now it is "their" Plan, MKC legally has to do a second consultation which is about to start. You may remember that there were also two consultations with the original Neighbourhood Plan. If you commented during the parish council consultation, you will see your comments and the response of the parish council in the "Consultation Statement" which accompanies the Neighbourhood Plan. This is part of a very strict process which the parish council and MKC have to follow.
You should have received a copy of this letter from MKC, as have all landowners and statutory consultees such as the utility companies.
You can download or read the Plan and accompanying documents on MKC's Neighbourhood Planning webpage at https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/castlethorpe-neighbourhood-plan and you can send your comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to UDLA, Milton Keynes Council, Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ. All comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 17 July.
At the end of this second consultation, the Modified Neighbourhood Plan, its supporting documents and the responses to the second consultation will be passed to an external Examiner who will ensure it complies with the legal conditions for an NP.
The new Local Plan for Milton Keynes, Plan:MK was adopted by Milton Keynes Council at its meeting on the 20 March 2019. Plan:MK now forms part of the Council's Development Plan and replaces both the Core Strategy (2013) and saved policies of the Local Plan (2005).
The adopted version of Plan:MK, its updated Policies Maps, and associated adoption documents can be viewed here and you can download a copy of the current plan by clicking here.