Speak at committee

Applications eligible for public speaking

Any planning application on the sub-committee or planning committee agenda will be eligible for public speaking. The onus is on the applicant or interested parties to check when an application is going to committee and to register to speak. 

The agendas and reports are published at least 5 working days before the meeting and can be viewed by selecting the date of the meeting from the links below. You can also view lists of upcoming and recent committees on our planning search.

Who can speak at the meeting?

Planning meetings are open to the public but only those that have registered to speak prior to the meeting may address the committee.

One objector will be permitted to speak against any application going to committee. The applicant (or their agent) will then be invited to speak in response to the objector. The applicant/agent will not be permitted to promote the proposed development unless an objector has been registered to speak against it.

How do I register to speak? 

You will need to register your interest to speak on a planning application by phone or using the register to speak form, no later than midday on the previous Thursday before the meeting for area sub-committees or Friday for planning committees. Please call 01372 474474 to register with Customer Services, lines open midday on Monday one week before the meeting for area sub-committees and midday on Tuesday one week before planning committees.

We will contact you once registration closes to notify you of whether you were the first to register or not. Please note that this means we will not be able to contact you until after midday on Thursday for area sub-committees, or after midday on Friday for planning committees.

How many people are allowed to speak?

Speakers will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, and only one person will be allowed to address the committee. However, it is possible for a spokesperson to be appointed to put the combined views of objectors across at the meeting. Your details will therefore be passed on to any subsequent callers, who may contact you.

How do I attend a meeting?

Committee and sub-committee meetings can be watched live on our webcast portal. Seating in the public gallery is limited (45 people) so if you would like to attend a meeting, you will need to reserve a place as seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out more, including how to book: Public attendance at council meetings. The next meetings can be found on our committees calendar.

What happens if an application is deferred?

Once public speaking on an application has taken place there will be no further opportunities to speak. If the application is deferred to another meeting of the same committee public speaking will not be repeated. If an application is referred from an area sub-committee to the full planning committee public speaking will take place at the new committee. Depending on the timing of the Planning Committee, the period for registering to speak for a referred item may be reduced. However, in this instance the public speaker from the area sub-committee would be contacted to ask if they wish to speak at the Planning Committee.

What matters can the committee consider?

You will need to limit your views to relevant planning issues such as:

  • external design, appearance and layout
  • highway safety and parking
  • loss of light or overshadowing
  • loss of amenity
  • residential amenity

The committee are not able to take into account such items as:

  • private property rights
  • the applicant's morals or motives
  • effect on property values
  • loss of a view
  • matters covered by other legislation

What happens at the meeting?

  • A planning officer will introduce the application by outlining the scheme and reporting any late information that has been received between the time the agenda was printed and noon on the Friday before the date of the meeting.
  • The chair of the committee will then invite you to speak, and you will be given 3 minutes to outline your views. This time limit is strictly enforced.
  • You cannot ask questions of councillors, officers or others. The chair of the committee may allow members of the committee to ask for clarification of any points you raised.
  • No documents can be circulated at the meeting by either the objector or applicant. If you wish the committee to take anything additional into account, it should be submitted as a representation at least 2 working days before the meeting to ensure that it can be recorded as a late representation and published on the council’s website for the public to review.
  • The applicant or agent will then have the same amount of time to present his/her response. The chair of the committee may allow members of the committee to ask for clarification.
  • The committee will proceed with its deliberations on the application.

Please note that plans relating to all items considered at the committee are available to view within the agenda and against the relevant application reference on the website. There will be no plans shown on our webcast portal.

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