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Records of Decisions and Access to Documents

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Exmoor National Park Authority is committed to being open about the decisions that it makes.  Many decisions are made by the Authority's Members at meetings of

Exmoor National Park Authority
Partnership Fund Committee
Standards Committee

Details of each of these Committees can be found on our website under Committees and Meetings. The decisions made by each of the Committees are recorded in the Minutes which are approved at the next meeting.  For information about the decisions made by the Authority's Committees, please contact Judy Coles - Corporate Support Officer at Jcoles@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or 01398 322250

As well as decisions made by its Committees, the Authority allows some decisions to be made directly by its officers - either specifically at the request of a Committee/Sub-Committee or under a general authorisation (set out in the Authority's Scheme of Delegation).  These are known as decisions taken under delegated powers or 'delegated decisions'.

National rules require a written record to be kept of certain delegated decisions taken by officers. The requirement to keep a written record is effective from 6 August 2014 and does not apply to delegated decisions taken before this date.  The requirement to keep a written record applies only to decisions:

  • to grant a permission or licence (e.g. decisions to grant a grazing licence);
  • that affects the rights of an individual (e.g. decisions about planning applications);
  • to award a contract or incur expenditure and which will materially affect the Authority's financial position

The written record will be available for inspection at the Authority's offices and on the website as soon as reasonable practicable after it has been made, and will include:

  • the decision made and the date the decision was taken;
  • the reason/s for the decision;
  • any alternative options considered and rejected; and
  • any other background documents.

You will not be able inspect some recorded decisions if the whole or part of the records contain confidential or exempt information.

Which decisions does the Authority record?

DECISIONS ABOUT PLANNING:  Officers can make delegated decisions in relation to any matter arising under the Planning Acts and on the determination of applications for certificates of proposed or existing lawful use and development, subject to provisions requiring applications to be considered by Planning Committee.

All the decisions made by the Authority about planning applications can be found on our website.  You will find a planning application search facility 'Planning Application Search' which will let you search for a particular application.  The search will allow you to see the status of an application (i.e. whether it has yet to be decided or whether a decision has been made) and whether it was decided by the Planning Committee or whether it was a delegated decision made by a Planning Officer.

Where an application has been decided, the certificate/decision notice will set out the date of the decision and the reasons for the decision and if the application has been approved, any conditions attached to the planning consent.  You will also find background documents including the planning application itself and any responses from consultees.

If you would like assistance to use the planning application search facility or if you cannot find the information you are looking for please contact the Corporate and Customer Support Team via plan@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or 01398 323665.


DECISIONS ABOUT PLANNING ENFORCEMENT:  If a breach of planning or listed building control has been identified and it has been necessary to serve a Notice to rectify that breach, the Notice is placed on the Enforcement Register. The Register includes Enforcement Notices, Listed Building Enforcement Notices, Stop Notices, Temporary Stop Notices and Breach of Condition Notices. You will be able to search the Enforcement Register to find details of enforcement notices issued. The notice will set out the date of issue and the reasons why enforcement action has been taken.

If you cannot find the information you are looking for please contact Trevor Short - Planning Investigations Officer via TJShort@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.


DECISIONS ABOUT TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS:  Officers can make delegated decisions about requests that a Tree Preservation Order be placed on a tree or group of trees, or that an existing Tree Preservation Order be revoked.

Download decisions as Xcel file


Decisions relating to planning applications for works to trees that are subject to Tree Preservation Orders can be found via the Planning Application Search facility on our website by entering the search term TPO or the name of a specific property/land. If you cannot find the information you are looking for please contact the Corporate and Customer Support Team via plan@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or 01398 323665.


DECISIONS ABOUT LAND AND PROPERTY:  Where the capital payment/receipt does not exceed £50,000 or the annual rental does not exceed £20,000, officers can make delegated decisions in relation to the acquisition of land and property; the taking/granting/varying of leases, licences, dedications and easements of or over any land; the disposal of land and property; and the sessional letting of property.

The details of delegated decisions are set out below.  If you cannot find the information you are looking for please contact Matt Harley, Land and Property Manager via MHarley@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.

Download decisions as Xcel file


DECISIONS ABOUT RIGHTS OF WAY:  Officers can make delegated decisions about the Authority's functions relating to rights of way (public footpaths, public bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic) including arrangements for creation of new public rights of way or public rights of way diversions under the Town & Country Planning Acts, Highways Acts and other legislation.

The details of delegated decisions are set out below.  If you cannot find the information you are looking for or you would like further information about a decision made please contact Sue Applegate - Public Rights of Way and Access Officer via SApplegate@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Click here for access news and further information including background documents about path closures.

Download decisions as Excel spreadsheet


DECISIONS ABOUT AWARDING CONTRACTS OR INCURRING EXPENDITURE: Every contract entered into by the Authority shall comply with Standing Orders and with the European Procurement legislation and with any relevant EU Directives for the time being in force in the UK. The objective of these Standing Orders is to ensure that contracts for the supply and disposal of goods, materials and services or for the execution of works, are obtained on the most financially favourable terms, having due regard to quality, service, fitness for purpose and sustainability.

The Authority's provisions to award contracts are set out in the Standing Orders for the Regulation of Contracts.  This document says that the Authority must enter into a tendering process for

  • a contract for the execution of building or civil engineering works to exceed £50,000,
  • any other contract for the supply of goods, materials and services to exceed £25,000,
  • contracts for the supply of goods, materials or services expected to exceed £50,000 over a three year period,

subject to a test of best value, expediency or practicality e.g. where there is only one supplier and no acceptable alternatives exist or where there is an urgent need for goods and services and the tender process would prevent the supply within the necessary timescale.

While the award of contracts or expenditure set out here will not necessarily materially affect the Authority's financial position, in line with its commitment to openness of decision making, the Authority provides a written record of each contract entered into following a tendering exercise or where the expenditure exceeds the levels set out above:

Download decisions as excel spreadsheet


Which decisions won't the Authority record?

The Authority's officers take many administrative and operational decisions on how they go about their day to day work. These decisions do not need to be recorded.  For example, decisions that do not need to be recorded might include:

  • Routine administrative and organisational decisions
  • Decisions on operational matters such as changes to services and charges
  • Awarding Landscape Conservation grants

These are a few selected examples and not an exhaustive list.

Further information and guidance about the rules on recording decisions and access to documents can be found at the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.