Committee FAQ's

When and where does the committee meet?

It meets approximately every three weeks, on Wednesdays from 6.00pm, and please find the venue details on the attached Planning Committee Notification letter. There are no refreshments available. The meetings are open to the public.

Meeting dates and venues are on the calendar of meetings on our website 

What applications do the committee consider?

The committee considers some applications for planning permission, listed building consent, conservation area consent and advertisement consent under the Town and Country Planning Acts. If there are several applications for one site, the committee will consider these together.

The Head of Planning makes decisions on approximately 90 per cent of applications under delegated powers. The planning committee considers most applications for large developments, some applications where officers and parish/town councils have contradictory views, and all applications which district councillors or the development manager ask them to determine.

How do I find out what the committee will consider?

  • The agenda and reports for each meeting are open to the public. Agendas are published five working days before a meeting and can be viewed online. If you sign up to our email alerts you will be notified of an application going to the committee.

  • Agendas, officers’ reports and minutes can be found by clicking on the relevant meeting on the calendar of meetings

  • To find all the published information about the application, type the application number into the search box on the council’s website and follow the suggested links.

Can I speak about an application?

You can only speak at the planning committee about an application if:

  • you have made an application, or have commented in writing on an application and the application is on the agenda; and

  • you have registered to speak by noon on the day before the meeting (see below); and

  • you register each time the committee considers the application; and

  • the report covers the planning merits of the application, not just legal matters. 

How do I arrange to speak at the meeting?

Planning services will write to or email you a week before the meeting when an application you have made or commented on will be considered.

If you want to speak, you must inform Planning Services at the council in writing (post, email or online registration) before noon on the day before the meeting. If you miss the deadline, you will not be allowed to speak. Send requests to speak to: 

We cannot accept telephone requests to speak. Planning services may not be aware of requests sent to other council email addresses and you may find you have not been registered.

You should tell us which application(s) you are speaking about; whether you are objecting to or supporting the application; if you are an agent or representing a parish/town council/meeting; and give your name, address and a contact telephone number/email address. With your permission, we will share your contact details with other registered speakers so that you can co-ordinate your presentations within the five minutes allowed.

What happens at the meeting?

The committee, led by the chairman, follows the published agenda. A planning officer introduces the application, referring to the report which recommends whether the application should be approved or refused. Plans and photos are usually displayed.

The committee hears presentations from people registered to speak and from the local ward councillor(s). Then the committee discusses the application without further contributions from speakers. The committee votes whether to approve the application (with conditions), refuse it, or defer it for a visit to the site or for more information. After the vote, you may leave the meeting quietly before the committee moves on to the next item. If you do leave, please move away from the doors so that your conversations cannot be overheard by those in the room.

The committee may decide to defer consideration of an application at the start of the meeting and not discuss it that evening. If this happens, you may leave the meeting. You need to re-register if you wish to speak when the application comes to the committee again. We will write to you again about a week before the meeting when the application will be considered.

Who speaks when and what do I do?

The chairman invites registered speakers in order:

  1. town or parish councils in whose area the application site lies;

  2. objectors and/or their representatives (all together as one group);

  3. applicant and/or their agent and/or supporters (all together as one group); then

  4. district councillor(s) for that ward.

    You will be invited to sit at the speakers’ table and use the microphone. The committee may ask questions about your presentation. When these are finished, you return to the public seating area. You only have one opportunity to speak to the committee during the meeting.  You cannot take part in the debate, interrupt, or speak to the councillors or officers during the meeting.

How long can I speak?

Each speaker or group of speakers can speak for up to five minutes on each application site (even if there are several applications for the site). This will not be extended. A group of speakers may appoint one person to speak on their behalf. Otherwise speakers share the five minutes, speaking in the order they registered. They do not have to share the time equally.

How can I best use my time?

This will depend on the particular application, but the committee can only consider relevant planning issues.  Examples of these are:

  • whether the site is suitable for development;
  • design, appearance and layout;
  • loss of light or other amenity;
  • highway safety and traffic;
  • loss of privacy;
  • noise, disturbance and smell;

local and national planning policy and government guidance.

Can I show pictures or hand out written statements?

If you want to display photographs or drawings, you must email them to or send them on a clearly identifiable CD to the planning department at the address below to arrive no later than 9.00am on the day of the meeting. You may give printed photographs to the committee clerk before the meeting up until 4pm on the working day before the meeting. Please do not bring electronic copies as we are unable to use these at the last minute.

The committee cannot accept new material at the meeting because this does not give everyone time to read and comment on the contents.

You should discuss any new information you think relates to the decision with the planning officer well before the meeting.

Council officers cannot circulate information to committee members on your behalf.

Committee members’ contact details are available on our website should you wish to send information to them directly. Please copy any such correspondence to the planning officer.

Where do I find information and who do I contact?

You can find:

(full link:

 To register to speak at a meeting, contact planning services by noon the day before the committee meeting. You can register in writing or by emailing or by online registration.

 For more general information about planning or about a particular application, contact planning services at (tel 01235 422600) or contact the case officer for the application.

 For more information about the remit or conduct of the committee, contact democratic services at:

Last reviewed: 25 - 07 - 2017

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