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Decisions on planning applications

Planning Committee meetings – how they work

Decisions on certain planning applications are taken at the council's Planning Committee. These committee meetings are open to the public.

View all Planning Committee agendas, minutes and membership.

There are 2 ways you can participate in Planning Committee meetings:

  • You can present petitions on all general items reported to the Planning Committee
  • A representative of the Parish Council/Meeting, objectors, the applicant and any supporters can address the Planning Committee for up to 3 minutes, either speaking in favour or against a planning application

Request to speak at planning Committee

If you would like to speak at a Planning Committee meeting or present a petition you must request to do so by 12.30pm on the last working day before the meeting (for example, if the planning meeting is on a Tuesday and the day before is a bank holiday you must submit your request by 12.30pm on the previous Friday). Request to speak at Planning Committee.

During a meeting comments will be taken in the following way:

  1. The chairman of the committee will invite you to speak
  2. Participants will be allowed to speak for up to 3 minutes to state their case - they must be comments only, not questions
  3. This period may be followed by questions of clarification from Committee members

Please remember that the committee can only take into account planning matters when it makes its decision, and that it is bound by law to make a decision in accordance with the development plan for the area, unless other factors are so important they justify departing from it.

The number of speakers is unlimited but where numerous people wish to address the committee to either oppose or support the application, the council will request that they appoint a spokesperson in order to avoid duplication.

Please respect other speakers by remaining quiet during their speech.

If you can not attend the meeting to speak

The Planning Committee is under no obligation to defer making a decision on an application because a particular speaker is not available to attend the meeting. A proxy speaker may be nominated if you are unable to attend (their details should be provided in advance).

Do not submit written speeches as there is no obligation for these to be presented to the committee.

A decision will be made on the merits of the application and applicants and others always have the opportunity to provide further information and make representations in writing to the Development Control Manager before the meeting.

Process of Planning Committee meetings

Planning Committee meetings use the following process:

  1. The planning committee agenda papers are normally published online 5 working before the planning committee meeting
  2. A Supplementary Information list is often made available on the evening of the planning committee meeting -  containing information received after publication of the planning committee agenda papers
  3. The planning committee chairman will open the meeting and make introductions
  4. Meetings may be recorded in accordance with the council's guide for audio recording of meetings
  5. Planning applications are usually taken in agenda order; however, items against which public are registered to speak are normally brought forward
  6. The planning officer introduces a report
  7. If necessary, the committee will be given time at the meeting to consider supplementary information
  8. Any public speaking will be heard
  9. Planning Committee members can ask questions of speaker
  10. Public speaking is complete, and the public cannot take part in further debate of the plan
  11. Ward councillors sometimes speak for 5 minutes on behalf of local residents
  12. Planning committee members then debate the matter
  13. The planning officer, or others in attendance (eg solicitor) will provide clarification and advise if asked by a planning committee member
  14. The committee take a vote on a show of hands to make a decision - the vote is normally recorded
  15. The chairman does not vote but does have a casting vote if needed

Read about the decisions that can be made.