The planning committee

The planning committee makes decisions on planning applications in the Lichfield District area. It also considers matters of tree preservation orders, enforcement, building control and listed buildings.

Find out more about the committee using the links below:

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When does the committee meet?

The committee generally meets every three weeks on Monday evenings at 6pm in the Council Chamber at the District Council offices in Frog Lane, Lichfield. Members of the public are able to attend the committee meeting.

For this years' dates and previous minutes, agendas and reports, you can visit the Planning section of our Agendas, Reports and Minutes section.

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Who is on the committee?

To find out who is on the committee and see dates of meetings visit the Planning section of our Agendas, Reports and Minutes section.

All councillors receive training in planning and the chairperson and vice chair are appointed annually by the committee. The committee receives advice from council officers, in particular in relation to planning and legal matters.

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What does the planning committee consider?

Senior planning officers have powers delegated to them to determine applications on behalf of the committee and over 90% of applications are determined in this manner.

The applications which are presented to the planning committee are normally larger and more significant applications that raise a number of planning issues.

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How does the committee reach its decision?

Five working days before the meeting of the committee, copies of the agenda containing the full reports of the planning officers are circulated to all councillors and copies are also made available for public inspection. For this years' dates and previous minutes, agendas and reports, you can visit the Planning section of our Agendas, Reports and Minutes section..

Each report contains full details of the proposal along with a summary of the history of the site in question, the relevant policies, summaries of the views of objectors and supporters, and the reasoned judgement of the planning officers. It also contains a recommendation to approve or refuse the application.

At the meeting, where requested, the officers will provide information on each application and debates will ensue on the cases where councillors wish to express a view. Members of the public may address the committee, usually to object or offer support  on an application. Find out more about commenting on planning applications.

The committee will finally make a decision on the application on the basis of the officers' recommendations, the substance of the discussion and any other information received during the committee debate. This decision is reached either unanimously, or, where opinion is divided, by a show of hands.

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Does the committee have to accept the recommendation in the report?

The planning agenda contains recommendations from the planning officers. These recommendations are not binding upon the committee and it is free to make a decision on the basis of the planning merits and other issues surrounding each case.

If the committee seeks to make a decision different to the recommendation, that decision must be based upon proper planning reasons. Should additional information be required, then an application may be deferred until a subsequent meeting in order for that information to be provided.

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Can I speak at committee?

If you are the applicant or have written to the district council either in support or to object to an application, then you potentially have an opportunity to make verbal representations to the committee. Only one person may speak on behalf of each group. This includes one objector, one supporter, in addition to the applicant/applicants agent. In the case of objectors or supporters, if there are more than one then agreement must be reached on one person to present their case. Failure to reach agreement amongst those registering to speak will result in only the first person registered being called. Scroll down to find out how to register in writing, or contact the committee clerk on 01543 308075. 

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Does the recommendation of the officer affect who may speak at committee?

The recommendation of the officers does not determine who may make representations to the committee. If an application is recommended for refusal, verbal submissions in support of the application may be offered either by the applicant/agent or any other supporter who has made written representations to this effect to the district council. If an application is recommended for approval an objector to that application may make representations to the committee, but any representations made by objectors will automatically trigger a right of reply by the applicant/agent. Scroll down to find out how to register in writing, or contact the committee clerk on 01543 308075.  

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When does public speaking take place?

The agenda will be considered in chronological order and when an item, against which speakers are registered, is introduced by the planning officer the chairman will then call upon the speaker to make their representations to the committee. Where different parties wish to speak, they will be heard in the order of objector, supporter and then the applicant/agent.

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How long does each speaker have?

The speaker will be allowed a maximum of five minutes within which to present their case. At the end of the five minute period, the speaker will be instructed by the chairman to cease and no further verbal submissions will be received.

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What can I say?

Representations to the committee must be:

  • Relevant to the application
  • Relate to planning considerations
  • A statement of fact, or
  • A statement of personal opinion

The submissions should focus upon the planning merits of the proposal and any submission outside of these areas may lead to the interjection of the Chairman. No new written or visual information will be accepted at the meeting, except with the prior agreement of the Chairman.

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How can a registration of interest to speak be recorded?

The planning agenda will be released for public viewing 5 working days prior to the meeting of the planning committee. As soon as it is known that a particular application is to be reported to the committee all those who have made written representations on that application will be offered an opportunity to make verbal submissions. If you wish to take up this offer a tear off form is provided which should be then returned to the committee clerk at the district council by 2pm on the Thursday prior to the meeting. Only requests in writing will be considered as a formal request to be heard. For further information relating to the planning committee and when it meets please contact the committee clerk on 01543 308075. 

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Conduct of public speaker

All speakers must conduct themselves in an orderly manner and should ensure that they contribute to the proper conduct of the planning committee. They will not be subjected to questions or other interrogation by either officers or members of the committee, and speakers will not be permitted to directly question any officers or members present at the committee meeting. If a speaker has requested the opportunity to address the committee, the relevant application will not be deferred if that speaker is subsequently unable to attend the meeting.

Speakers will only be able to address the committee once.  If the committee therefore determines to defer the application following verbal submissions, those submissions cannot be repeated at subsequent meetings unless expressly agreed by the chairman.

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Useful Information and downloads

Find out when the planning committee meetings and who its members are - visit the planning committee page.

We've put together two leaflets that explain how our planning committee works and how you can have your say:

Download the Lichfield Planning Committee - How it Works leaflet
Download the Lichfield Planning Committee - Having Your Say leaflet

For further information relating to the planning committee and when it meets please contact the committee clerk on 01543 308075. 

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Any views?

If, after having experienced planning committee, you have any observations to make over the decision making process then please submit your views in writing to the development control manager at devcontrol@lichfielddc.gov.uk


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Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

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Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm.

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