If you feel strongly about a planning application submitted us and called to Planning Committee, you can attend to observe the process. 

Speakers in support of or onjecting to a planning application are allowed to speak, following certain guidelines set out on this page. 

Who can speak?

You can speak at Planning Committee if you are:

  • An authorised representative of the respective town or parish council
  • An objector to a planning application
  • A supporter of an application or an agent appointed to deal with the application.
  • An elected ward member

What do I have to do if I want to speak?

If you have commented in writing on a planning application, we will write to you when the agenda for the meeting where the matter is to be heard is published. 

More about the Planning Committee, including dates and agendas

  1. Once the agenda is published, you must give notice of your wish to speak by emailing Democratic Services no later than midday, two working days before the date of the Planning Committee.  (Planning Committee meetings are held on Tuesdays, so you will usually need to register by midday on Friday in the week before the meeting, unless there is a bank holiday, in which case the deadline moves forward).
  2. You will need to provide your name, address, a contact phone number and an email address - along with the planning application reference number to which you wish to speak.
  3. We will acknowledge all requests to speak within 48 hours of receipt.  If you do not receive an acknowledgement within this time, please call Democratic Services and we will be pleased to help.
  4. Ordinarily only one objector and one supporter will be allowed to speak on each application.  This will be dealt with on a first registered basis.
  5. Where more than one person wants to speak, the contact details of the person who is first registered will be distributed, to enable contact with that person to be made, so they can act as a spokesperson for a wider group.

You may also want to contact your town or parish council, or your elected ward member to see if they would speak on your behalf.

Please note:

Applications will not be deferred because of the absence of a person who has indicated a wish to speak.

Only one opportunity to speak is allowed. If a decision on the application is deferred, no further opportunity to speak will be given when the application is considered again, subject to the discretion of the Chair.

How much time will I have?

Time for each side is limited to a maximum of three minutes, with a maximum of five minutes for the Ward Member.

You will be given a reminder towards the end of the three minutes - but will not be allowed to exceed this time limit to make sure it's fair to all sides.

Where agreement on a spokesman can not be found between interested parties the allocated three minutes may be split equally between a maximum of two speakers.  This is only at the discretion of the Chairman and must be agreed with Democratic Services before the meeting.

What am I allowed to say?

You may only raise issues which are relevant to planning and to the application up for discussion.

The council must decide planning applications according to planning policies which apply and other relevant planning issues. The sort of detailed factors which can be taken into account include:

  • Relevant planning policies
  • Overshadowing, overlooking and loss of privacy
  • Traffic generation, highway safety, parking
  • Noise or disturbance or other loss of amenity
  • Appearance and character building.

Issues which cannot effect the way a planning application is decided include:

  • Loss of view
  • Reduction in property value
  • Business competition
  • Possible damage to property
  • Boundary disputes, covenants and other property rights
  • Personal remarks e.g. applicants' motives.

You will not be allowed to submit written or any other material when you speak.

Will I be asked any questions?

No, members of the Planning Committee are not allowed to ask you any questions.

Who attends?

The Planning Committee has 11 members, all of whom are councillors drawn from all parts of the district.

There will also be an officer present to take minutes, a legal officer and planning officers.

All meetings are open to the public so anyone can come and listen to the debate.

What happens at the meeting?

The Chairman will open the meeting and proceed with the formal items on the agenda before the applications. The applications will normally be considered in the order set out within the report.

Each application will be considered in the following way: 

  • The Chairman will announce each application in turn
  • A Planning Officer will make introductory comments
  • The order of speakers will be an authorised representative of the town or parish council, objector, the applicant/supporter and then elected ward members,
  • A planning officer will be given the opportunity to respond to the comments made
  • The Planning Committee will then consider the application and ask any questions and the Planning Officer may be asked to make concluding points
  • The Planning Committee will then vote on the application once a recommendation is moved and seconded.

Read more about Planning Committee

Last updated: Fri 24 December, 2021 @ 12:12