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I hope this is a suitable question for a law forum.

We applied for planning permission to build a small extension on the side of our house. Our neighbour had objected however planning officers deemed the build to be in regulation and motioned for it to be passed.

Our neighbour has an uncle who is a Parish and District Councillor and he requested that the planning be brought before the planning committee with the hope of stopping the application going through.

The Councillor used to own the house his nephew now lives in.

The same councillor has been actively involved in helping 2 other local residents get their planning approved by ways of advice and political means - one of these residents these is our neighbour on the other side of the objecting neighbour.

There is no record of this councillor stating an interest in the planning application and there is a written record on the planning file stating that 'Cllr X has expressed a wish for the application be brought before committee if a recommendation of approval is made'.

Our planning went through without any problems (another councillor told me he thought it was a waste of time bringing it before committee) and building work is due to finish soon.

Now the dust has settled on this issue I want to know if the councillor has broken any rules by helping his nephew in this way? Is this classed as nepotism and should he have stated an interest by helping his family members?

I also feel that as an elected councillor he shouldn't be treating residents differently based on their proximity to his family members.

Would it be advisable to request an official explanation and potential apology or would I be wasting my time?

Thanks

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A councillor who is the uncle of a neighbour objecting to a planning application absolutely should declare a personal interest in the application at the committee meeting, and should take no part in the discussions on the application.

See for example the code of conduct for councillors from Malvern Hills (I chose this one because it is what came up first on Google search. Your district council/city council/unitary authority will have a similar document.)

When you say "there is no record of this councillor stating an interest in the planning application", do you mean on the planning application? I would not expect to see it there. I would expect to see it on the minutes of the planning committee where it was approved.

If there is no such declaration, you can complain to the council about the conduct of the councillor. See your local council website. (Your local paper would have been interested if you had raised the issue with them as soon as the minutes were issued.)

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