You won't be notified in writing of when applications are to be considered by committee. If you have an interest in an application you should track progress via our Public Access website. Alternatively, you can contact the relevant area office for information.
Can I speak at commitee?
The following are entitled to speak at committee:
applicants or their agents
representatives of parish or town councils
local ward councillors
any other person with an appropriate interest in the outcome of the application (to be decided by the committee chairman in advance of the meeting)
How many people may speak?
Only one objector and one supporter may address the committee about any one application. If more than one objector wishes to speak, they'll be asked to agree a spokesperson among themselves to speak on behalf of them all. (A list of those wishing to speak will be available 45 minutes before the meeting starts). If they can't agree, the chairman will choose one person to speak.
How do I register to speak?
No later than two days before the meeting you should telephone Committee Services to express your interest. Telephone numbers for each committee area are:
Central - 01743 257718
North - 01743 252717
South - 01743 257716
How long may anyone speak for?
Nobody shall speak more than once, or for more than three minutes, as timed by the chairman. Speakers may make oral comments only. They may, within their three minutes, ask up to two questions. Additionally, with their agreement, they may be asked questions by the committee.
Please note: there's no obligation to answer questions put by the committee, but it may help to clarify outstanding matters the planning or other officers are unable to answer.
Order of speaking
The chairman will introduce the agenda item and invite the planning officer to outline the case. Any speakers will then be called to address the meeting in the following order:
any objector or supporter
parish or town council representative
local ward councillor
Speakers may not circulate papers at the meeting. Written submissions must be made in the normal way to the formal consultation process, or circulated to the committee in advance by the speaker.
Please remember there are laws against defamation. If you say something in public about a person that isn't true, you risk legal action being taken against you. When addressing the committee you should stick to the facts and any opinion you may have concerning them.
Human Rights Act
In the council's opinion, the public doesn't have a 'right to a fair hearing' at planning committee meetings under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The procedures for public speaking at committee are permissive, and don't arise from any obligation.
Committee site visits
Take a look at our practice note giving advice on our procedure for planning committees undertaking site inspections prior to determination of certain key planning and rights of way applications. Its purpose is to ensure that an open and consistent approach is followed in the interests of transparency, and in respect of procedures and administrative arrangements. In this way the interests of all parties involved in the process are dealt with equitably.
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