What does the Planning Committee do?
The Planning Committee decides on planning applications that have been referred to it. Not every planning application goes before the Committee. More than 90% of applications are decided by planning officers under what are known as delegated powers. This means that the Planning Committee has given the authority to planning officers to make decisions on applications. Find out which applications need to be considered by the Planning Committee and which applications can be decided by Officers.
Can I attend Planning Committee meetings?
Members of the public are welcome to attend Planning Committee.
Where do Planning Committee meetings take place?
Our Planning Committee meetings are held in a room in the Committee Suite on the first floor of the Civic Centre. Access to the Committee Suite is from within the Civic Centre. On the day of Planning Committee, staff at the reception desk in the Civic Centre tower block will be able to advise you which Committee Room the meeting will be held in.
View accessibility information about the Civic Centre, including the Committee Suite, from Disabled Go. Should you have any particular accessibility requirements please advise Democratic Services in advance of the meeting.
How often does the Planning Committee meet?
The Committee usually meets every 3 weeks on a Friday morning. The meetings commence at 9.30 am. Find out when meetings will be held.
Who is on the Planning Committee and who else attends the meetings?
The Planning Committee has a Chairman and Vice Chairman and other elected Councillors. To find out more about committee membership please view the relevant committee paper.
Council Officers attend the meeting to advise the Planning Committee and make a formal record of the meeting.
How will I know when the application I'm interested in is going to Planning Committee?
Applications can attract many responses from members of the public, so it is not possible for us to alert you individually to Planning Committee dates. If you register on our website you can opt to track an application and receive regular email updates about how it is progressing. Alternatively, you can phone the case officer. Find out which applications are on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting.
Can I view the agenda and reports before the Planning Committee meeting?
Copies of the agenda will be available at the meeting. The agenda and reports to Planning Committee can also be viewed five working days before the meeting here.
If you require the agenda and reports to be translated or provided in Braille, audio or large print, please contact Democratic Services.
Will I have an opportunity to speak at the Planning Committee meeting?
It may be possible for the Planning Committee to hear representations from interested parties about planning applications. This is known as a hearing. There is no automatic right to a hearing and it is necessary to make a request before the meeting.
Requests for hearings should be made to the Head of Development Management at least four working days before the meeting. The Head of Development Management will consult the Planning Committee Chairman or Vice Chairman and will come to a view as to whether a hearing is likely to assist the Committee in determining the application.
Can applicants speak at the Planning Committee meeting?
It is possible for applicants to request a hearing at Planning Committee, following the procedure outlined above.
If a hearing is agreed, will both the applicant and objector be invited to speak?
Both the applicant and the objector will be invited to attend a hearing.
What happens if a number of people wish to speak about an application?
No more than one person will normally be heard on behalf of the applicant or objector. If there are several objectors you should agree among yourselves who will represent all viewpoints at the meeting.
Can someone speak on my behalf?
A group of objectors may have a spokesperson as set out above. Alternatively, you may ask someone to speak for you, or you may use a professional advisor.
Can Ward Councillors speak at the Planning Committee meeting?
It is possible for Ward Councillors who are not members of the Planning Committee to speak about an application at the meeting. Members of the Planning Committee can also speak but will not have a vote on the item.
What will happen at the Planning Committee meeting if there is a hearing?
The Committee will normally consider the applications in agenda order, however if a hearing has been agreed on an application the Chairman may decide to consider that item first.
The Chairman will ask the Planning Officer to briefly introduce the application. The spokesperson who is opposed to the application will be asked to speak, and the Committee may then ask questions of the spokesperson. The applicant or their spokesperson will then be asked to speak in support of the proposal and the Committee may again ask questions. Any interested Councillors (who do not have a vote on the item) will then be asked to speak. The Planning Officer will address the Committee on points raised by speakers and will answer any questions from Committee Members. The Chairman will ask Committee Members to express their views on the item before the Committee. The Committee will then vote on the item based on the recommendation in the report (either 'for' or 'against'). Should the vote be tied, the Chairman has the casting vote.
What issues should I speak about?
The Planning Committee's decision on an application can be based only on planning issues. These planning issues can include:
- The council's planning policies
- Central government planning guidance
- The size, appearance, layout and density of the proposed development
- Daylight, sunlight and overshadowing
- Overlooking or loss of privacy
- Means of access, parking, servicing, traffic generation, highway safety
- Impact on landscape and ecological habitats
- Effect on listed buildings, conservation areas and archaeology
- Noise and disturbance
- Air quality and odours
- Flood risk
- Renewable energy, sustainability of proposed development
- Crime prevention and community safety
When you speak at a meeting, you should confine your speech to one or more of these issues and explain how the proposed development will affect you.
The Planning Committee cannot consider issues that are not planning issues. Examples of these include:
- Private property matters such as boundary and access disputes, rights to light, restrictive covenants, capacity of private drains, damage to property during construction
- Effects on property value
- Trade competition
- Loss of view
- Building Regulations matters such as structural safety and fire prevention and matters covered by other laws such as alcohol or gaming licences
- The applicant's personal conduct, history or motives
How long will I be able to speak?
It is necessary to ensure that hearings are conducted in a businesslike manner because the Committee has a considerable number of applications to deal with at each meeting.
No more than one person will normally be heard on behalf of the applicant or objector, a maximum of five minutes will be allowed for each person to speak, and only one opportunity will be given to speak. If you intend to read from a prepared statement you are advised to check how long it takes to read to make sure it is less than five minutes.
Can I use any presentation equipment?
It is only possible to speak at a meeting. Presentation equipment will not be allowed.
Can I hand out information at the meeting?
The only document that can be handed out is a transcript of the speech made at the meeting. The Committee will not have time to read any other documentation before discussing the application and voting on a decision. Registered speakers and interested councillors who wish the Committee to take photographs, drawings or other material into account must first have submitted these documents to the case officer at least four working days before the meeting. All such documents submitted by registered speakers will be considered by the Committee at the discretion of the Chairman.
What happens after the Planning Committee has made a decision?
When the Committee has decided the application you can either remain in the meeting if you are interested in any other applications or leave.
Are the minutes available after the meeting?
The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting will be included in the agenda for the following meeting. View the committee agenda documents. For information on the Planning Committee meetings prior to 30 May 2011, click here.
If you wish to submit comments or feedback on the Planning Committee procedure, click here to fill in a short customer satisfaction survey.