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 must then notify Committee Services by 10am, two working days before the meeting (e.g. for a Wednesday meeting the deadline is normally 10am on the Monday of the same week). To notify Committee Services you should complete the webform here.
  • In line with current legislation representations will need to be made in person (not via a video or audio link). 
  • The Committee will receive one representation in support of a proposal and one against, from interested parties. Each representation must be a maximum of 5 minutes long.
  • If more than one person wishes to speak either for or against an application, Committee Services will contact all those who have requested to speak and parties will be asked to nominate one person to represent them. The contact details you have consented to be shared with others who share your position will be included in this communication from Committee Services to allow those who have registered to agree who will be speaking. 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.
  • 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 to give their representation. 
  • Speakers should limit themselves to mentioning planning matters only.
  • 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.