Speaking at planning committee meetings
If a planning application goes to committee, the planning officer’s report to either the development management or strategic sites delivery committee will include a summary of any comments received on the proposal. A recommendation by the officer will take these comments into account.
Any comments received after the committee report has been prepared are summarised in an update paper, together with the planning officer’s response. This update is issued at the start of the meeting to committee members.
Dates and details of upcoming meetings together with agenda papers and minutes of previous meetings can be found on our website. The committees usually meet at the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood.
Who can speak at a planning committee meeting
Anyone can choose to speak at the committee meeting to give their views on a proposal, either as an individual or as part of a group. To arrange you need to contact democratic services on 01454 864425 before noon on the day before the meeting.
The planning officer’s report will be available for you to read on our website at least five working days before the committee meeting.
If you agree with the officer’s recommendation, you may decide there is little to add to the officer report. If you disagree with the recommendation, you may wish to present your reasons for this view. It is suggested that you don’t take up committee time in repeating the officer’s comments. You should also be aware that the officer’s recommendations are not always accepted by committee. If the recommendation to committee is refusal, you may wish to present your case for approval.
You are strongly advised to arrive for the beginning of the meeting. Items are normally considered in agenda order, although the chair can move items forward if there is a high level of public interest in a specific item.
Your comments should be limited to the application being considered for that item. You can either read a written statement or make a verbal statement to the committee. If you are reading from a written statement, it would be helpful to provide democratic services with a copy of the statement the day before the meeting.
There is a time limit of 5 minutes for each group of speakers supporting the proposal and 5 minutes for those against the proposal. This ensures a maximum of 10 minutes on any one item on the agenda.
Speakers may get together and decide to make a joint case, either appointing one representative to prepare a 5 minute speech or different speakers to cover different points, allocating the 5 minutes between them.
Once the public speaking has finished, there is no further opportunity for you to address the committee.
What issues are considered
When considering a planning application, relevant issues will include:
- development plan policies
- government guidance
- case law
- residential amenity
- design and layout
- conservation matters
- highway safety and traffic
- landscape and trees
- other relevant material considerations
Issues not considered relevant include:
- matters covered by other laws e.g. alcohol licences
- private property rights e.g. boundaries or access disputes.
- the developer’s motive
- possible future development
- loss of view from your property/land
- the effect on value of property
Once the speakers have made their submissions, committee members will begin discussing the proposal. There will be no further public speaking rights during this debate. Any relevant issues raised in the presentations will be addressed by councillors and officers.
The committee have the option to defer the application to consider amended plans, which would then be considered at a future meeting. This could either be through the submission of revised plans or a new application. Interested parties can submit comments on any revised information that is received. Alternatively, the committee can determine the application as presented to them.
If the committee decides contrary to planning officer recommendation in the published agenda or update sheet, the application will be referred to the spatial planning committee for consideration. This committee will consider the application a fresh before the decision of the council is finally made and issued. If this happens, details of the arrangements will be provided.
If you have any further questions about speaking at committee you can contact democratic services on 01454 864425.
If you have further queries about the proposal or planning officer’s recommendations, contact the development management or major sites team by email or by phoning our customer contact centre 01454 868004.
Planning aid service
If you need free independent professional planning advice, consider using the planning aid service.