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Speaking at Planning and Development Committee

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The Council allows public speaking at the Planning and Development Committee. Not all applications go to Committee however, some are dealt with under powers delegated to the Head of Development. Therefore any requests for an application to be consideration at Committee need to be made within the press publicity period. Requests are not automatically agreed to, it depends upon the case in question and the nature and volume of objections.

How it works

If you, or a representative such as a friend or relative, would like to speak at Planning and Development Committee you are advised to contact the Planning Officer who will notify you of the date and time of the relevant meeting. You may also request that a copy of the Officer's report is sent to you.

  • Those wishing to speak should present themselves to the Committee Clerk at least 10 minutes before the meeting is due to start.
  • You will be asked to fill in a form recording your interest in the matter. If you wish, you can download an application form to complete in advance.
  • The application will be heard as near to the beginning of the meeting as possible. The Planning Officer will present the proposals first, then speakers will be asked in turn to step up to the Committee table and give their presentation.
  • The Committee will receive one presentation in support of a proposal and one against, from interested parties.
  • If more than one person wishes to speak either for or against an application, the parties will be asked to nominate one person to represent them. If an agreement cannot be reached the Chair may decide to split the 5 minutes between the speakers or not to hear any party on either side.
  • Each presentation must be a maximum of 5 minutes long.
  • Speakers should limit themselves to mentioning planning matters only.
  • When finished, speakers should return to the public gallery.
  • In the event that the application is deferred, a further presentation is not permitted.

The ruling of the Committee Chair is final in respect of the operation of the scheme.

Speaking through your Ward Councillor

If you prefer, you can approach your Ward Councillor and ask them to speak at Committee on your behalf.

This must be your own Ward Councillor. Neighbouring Ward Councillors can only speak if their ward is directly affected.

Remember, it is up to the Councillor whether or not they speak on your behalf - they are not obliged to speak. They will not necessarily agree with your view and so may not feel able to personally represent that to the Committee. Alternatively, they may be prepared to represent your view on the understanding that it does not necessarily represent their own views.

Members of the Planning and Development Committee often prefer not to speak on behalf of constituents at Committee. If they do speak, they will make their position clear at the outset at Committee, and they will not then be allowed to vote on the proposal.

A Ward Councillor may only speak once on an item, for a period of not more than seven minutes. If the application is deferred for any reason, the Ward Councillor may not speak again at the later meeting.

Applications cannot be deferred to enable Ward Councillors to attend - the Council is expected to deal with applications within an 8-week period.