The planning committee

Speaking at the committee

If you are the applicant or have written to us 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.

Also a non-committee ward member may speak.

In the case of objectors or supporters, if there are more than one, they will need to agree on one person to present their case. If an agreement can’t be reached, the first person to register will be called on to speak.

Officers' recommendations

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 us.

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.

Timings for public speaking

If you are speaking you should arrive by 5.45pm at the latest and make yourself known to the committee clerk.

The agenda is normally considered in chronological order.

When an item, against which speakers are registered, is introduced by the planning officer, the chairman will call on the speaker/s to make their representations to the committee.

Where different parties wish to speak, they will be heard in order of objector, supporter, ward councillor and then the applicant/agent.

Duration to speak

Speakers are allowed up to three minutes only to present their case (five minutes for major applications) with ward councillors permitted up to five minutes.

At the end of the time, the speaker will be instructed by the chairman to stop and no further verbal submissions are allowed.

Content for speaking

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.

Register your interest to speak

The planning agenda will be released for public viewing five working days before the meeting.

As soon as it is known that a particular application is to be considered by the committee, anyone who has made a written representation on that application is offered an opportunity to speak at the meeting.

If you want to speak, you need to contact and advise the council’s committee clerk by 2pm on the Thursday before the meeting to register this request. Please contact the committee clerk by email or call 01543 308075.

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.

Speakers are not questioned or interrogated and cannot 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 can only speak once on an application. If the committee decides to defer the application following verbal submissions, those submissions cannot be repeated at subsequent meetings, unless agreed by the chairman.