Attending and speaking at the Planning Committee
Webcasting of Planning Committee
Planning Committee meetings are now filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council's website. At the start of the meeting the Chairman will confirm if all or part of the meeting is being filmed. The images and sound recording may be used for training purposes within the Council.
By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes.
The meeting procedure is based on simple rules to make the system as fair and easy to operate as possible. You may wish to look at a video of the Planning Committee Process that shows what happens at a committee meeting. You may also find the Planning Committee procedure rules(pdf, 47KB) useful.
When and where are the meetings?
Details of previous and future Planning Committees are available on the Planning Committee page. Should you have any special accessibility requirements please advise Democratic Services in advance of the meeting.
How can I find out at what meeting an application will be considered?
If you have already commented on a planning application, you will receive written notification of the meeting five to ten working days before it is held. Officers have powers to approve certain applications under delegated powers, meaning that not all planning applications are heard at Committee.
How do I view the agenda?
Copies of the agenda will be available at the meeting and can also be viewed five working days before the meeting by visiting the Council’s Committee pages.
Who can attend?
The Planning Committee is a public meeting. You do not need to register your attendance unless you wish to speak at the meeting.
How do I register to speak?
If you wish to speak on an agenda item you must be registered by 12 noon on the day before the meeting.
You can register to speak online or by contacting Customer Services on 08456 122 660.
Will I be allowed to speak?
Anyone can register to speak at the meeting, although there are limits on the number of speakers:
- Householder applications: Maximum of four speakers (two for and two against) the proposal.
- Non-Householder applications: Maximum of six speakers (three for and three against) the proposal.
- Major applications: The maximum number of speakers will be set by the Chairman on a case by case basis, with a default number of six speakers (three for and three against the proposal)
Councillors will also be allowed to speak on applications in addition to the above limits.
If the limit on the number of speakers is exceeded, you will be required to liaise with other registered speakers in order to agree who will speak. If a decision cannot be reached, priority to speak will normally be given to neighbours directly adjacent to the application site and to representatives of residents’ associations.
How long will I be able to speak for?
All registered speakers are given three minutes in which to make their points to the Committee. A light box is used to time this. After two and a half minutes the light begins to flash and after three minutes a red light comes on. This is the signal to stop speaking.
At which point in the meeting will I be able to speak?
At the beginning of the item the Planning Officer will provide an introduction. The Chairman will then call members of the public who have registered to speak. Those opposed to the application will speak first, followed by those in favour. Registered Councillors will then be given the opportunity to make a representation.
After you have made your representation the Committee may wish to ask you questions to clarify points you have raised. Once this has happened you will be asked to return to the public gallery, at which point you cannot make any further comments. The Committee will then discuss the application and reach a decision.
Can I use photographs or other aids to make my point?
Photographs, drawings or other material may be presented as evidence whilst addressing the Planning Committee. Documents should be submitted to the Planning Department before 12 noon on the working day before the meeting. Any late material must have been viewed by the Planning Officer and will only be allowed at the discretion of the Chairman.
What can I speak about?
Your representation must relate to planning reasons for or against the application. These are usually referred to as ‘material planning considerations(pdf, 31KB)’. You should also try not to repeat points made by other speakers. The Chairman will disallow remarks which are not material planning considerations or which do not assist the decision-making process.
For further advice or to register to speak at Planning Committee, please contact Customer Services on 08456 122 660.
You can also contact your ward councillor who has a responsibility to listen to the views of local residents.