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Pre Planning Applications and RCAS

RCAS and the process of Pre-Application Community Involvement in Planning

A main aim of the Society is ‘to protect and enhance our area for the benefit of present and future residents’. We live in an attractive and flourishing area where change and renewal is always in progress. This deserves the local knowledge, interest and views of Societies such as RCAS.


The comments of the Planning Group on planning policies and development proposals is thus central to RCAS aims. Our track record of comments, constructive suggestions, objections to or support for planning applications has been recognised by the City Council planners.

Developers are now being encouraged to consult groups
such as ours at the initial concept stage – before making a planning application. We believe this opportunity to discuss proposals and outline RCAS views at this early stage will be valuable. We have agreed to be one of the Bristol areas to test out this approach to consultation.

This will not remove the need for members to look at applications that affect them when these are lodged and make individual representations to Planning. We hope that you will continue to do this, and keep us informed.

RCAS Planning Group does not normally comment on applications that have little or no effect on ‘the view from the street’ – but these may affect immediate neighbours.

The Planning Group is reasonably well informed about Bristol’s development control policies and the Government planning aims that lie behind them
– some of which we do not accept. For example, the imposition of quotas for housing provision, and the population growth that drives these.

However, we have to be realistic and where it is clear that some development is likely to be allowed we put our efforts into getting the best scheme. For example, we know that Bristol is obliged to make use of ‘brown field’ land, which may include gardens, to meet Government housing targets (but this is not a justification for over-development that damages the local area).

The RCAS approach...

RCAS does not have ‘a planning policy’ but some general principles have emerged over the last 10 years that currently colour our approach to proposed developments.

We think it would be helpful to offer a summary of these for members, and would welcome comments. This summary may also be given to developers who consult us.

Click here  to read, download or print the summary of RCAS Approach to Planning