What powers do Parish Councils have with respect to planning applications?

Parish Councils are consulted by the relevant Planning Authority (which could be either the District/Borough Council, the National Park Authority or the County Council) on all planning applications. Any views expressed by the Parish Council will be taken into account by the Planning Authority before a decision is made, providing the points made are relevant to the determination of a planning application. The final decision is made by the Planning Authority, not the Parish Council.

Planning Consultations for the Parish of Flax Bourton

Details of planning applications are available through the North Somerset Council planning portal (external link).

North Somerset Council Local Plan 2038


A draft Preferred Options Local Plan to accommodate more than 20,000 new homes over the 15 years plan period 2023 to 2038 was agreed by the Executive on Wednesday 2 February 2022. The plan was published for consultation on Monday 14 March 2022. The number of houses to be built is set by central government; it is not controlled by North Somerset Council. North Somerset faces some serious constraints on available housing land with areas designated as Green Belt and a large proportion of the remainder being either an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or at risk of flooding.

Next stages

Consultation runs from 14th March until 29th April 2022. You can find the draft Local Plan and all supporting documents at

The draft plan is scheduled to be finalised by November 2022 prior to being submitted for examination at Inquiry by government inspectors in summer 2023.  The plan is expected to be ready for adoption by late 2023.

The draft Local Plan proposes a significant increase in housing in Backwell, Nailsea and further west, up to and including Weston-super-Mare which has transport and other implications for Flax Bourton, generating significantly more traffic through the village. It includes adjustments to the Green Belt and does not include at least 2000 further homes North Somerset will be required to provide. Flax Bourton Parish Council has a working party preparing comments to submit to North Somerset on residents behalf.

Be part of the consultation process, let us know your thoughts and concerns by contacting our Clerk and/or attend our Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 11th April at the Flax Bourton Hub (village hall). Public meetings on 22nd March at 7.30pm in Backwell Village Hall and 31st March at 7.00pm at Long Ashton Community Centre also a drop in on 1st April between 3.00-7.00pm at Nailsea Tithe Barn.

Planning Information & Advice

The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) website provides useful information and advice about the planning process and how to comment on an application. The eight-step guide will help you find out more about a planning application, support it or challenge it. There are sample letters that you are welcome to use to object or support an application. Link to the CPRE website. (external link).

Download the CPRE guide here: How to respond to planning applications (external link).

If you have any questions about local planning in the Parish please contact the Parish Clerk.