The planning committee
How does the committee reach a 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.
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 to, or offer support 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.
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.