COUNCIL bosses have heard a report into how much weight is applied to aspects of planning applications.

The report, given at a scrutiny committee meeting this week, comes before Sedgemoor District Council is set to vote on two controversial planning applications on February 12.

Sedgemoor District Council case officer, Shawn Fleet, told the committee: “SDC’s corporate priorities are considered first, which includes economic growth and housing. The two main documents are the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Sedgemoor Core Strategy.

“The public sometimes have a different view as to what is more valuable. For example the impact on property value is usually not a material planning consideration. If the decision process was based on that, nothing would get built.”

Concerns were raised about highways officers not being aware of local issues and people being limited to three minutes to speak.

But Mr Fleet said anomalies such as accident records, vehicles speeds and public crossings do get taken into account. He added the public can get advice on how to structure their speaking time.

Cllr Ann Bown, Bridgwater West division, said: “It’s difficult for residents to understand why the goalposts keep changing from one application to the other.”

Sedgemoor District Council said it is reviewing its planning validation checklist.