Material Considerations

It is really important when considering a planning application to limit comments to legally accepted Material Considerations, which are all that can be considered by the planners.

We have listed them below:

  • Development Plan policies
  • Number, size layout, siting, design and external appearance of buildings
  • Highway safety / Traffic capacity of road network / Parking provision
  • Landscaping
  • The impact of the development on:
    • Trees
    • Listed Buildings
    • Conservation Areas
  • Residential amenity / degree of overlooking / loss of privacy or sunlight
  • Visual amenity
  • Adequacy of amenity space
  • Noise, smell or other disturbance
  • Precedent creation
  • Adequacy of infrastructure
  • Affordable housing (provision of)
  • External or underground environmental site factors eg:
    • Air quality
    • Contaminated land
    • Archaeological remains
  • Sustainability
  • Flooding / Environmental impact
  • Dust and fumes
  • Car movements
  • Impact on vitality and viability of town or local centre
  • Existing site uses and features
  • Representations received
  • Planning history
  • Fear of crime
  • Requirements of other authorities / undertakers
  • Local economy
  • Employment generation


Car movements / trips…TRICS trip rate database

TRICS is recognised as the “industry standard” trip rate database for the UK. The database comprises a large number of individual surveys at developments (across all land uses) throughout the UK (including Ireland, Wales and Scotland).

The database allows the user to identify relevant sites, based on land use, development size, location and accessibility to sustainable means of transport, on which to base an assessment of a proposed development. This data is provided in the form of trip rates per unit (for example per dwelling, per square metre floor area or per employee etc), which are then applied to the proposed development, resulting in theoretical trip numbers at such a development, spread across a daily profile. The data is presented per hour or half hour intervals, for arrivals and departures at a site.

Many TRICS assessments additionally provide information relating to the predicted modal split at a proposed development, allowing the user to predict the number of trips owing not only to private cars, but also to bus, cycle and pedestrian means of travel.

Here is a Simple analysis of private residential dwellings (2-3 bedrooms). This is applicable to a residential development in Berkhamsted. This assessment has yielded a daily vehicle trip rate per dwelling of 6.5.