How the Planning Committee Operates
The main purpose of the Planning Committee is to consider and decide upon planning applications, although they also have responsibility for determining proposals for the making of Tree Preservation Orders where an objection has been made. The Planning Committee only decides a relatively small proportion of all the planning applications submitted. The rest are decided by senior planning officers. It is in the public interest for the Council to have these arrangements in place to ensure that decisions on planning applications, that raise no significant planning issues are made quickly and that resources are appropriately concentrated on the applications of greatest significance to the local area. The full functions and responsibilities of the Planning Committee and the powers delegated to senior officers can be found in the Council's Constitution.
All reports to the Planning Committee contain a section where points or issues raised by third parties, including neighbours and other members of the public, are set out for the committee's consideration. Letters are not, however, set out in full. If you would like any or all of the members of the Planning Committee to see a full copy of your representation and/or any other material (e.g. photographs) you must send it directly to them at their home address in advance of the committee meeting. Council officers must remain impartial and cannot therefore distribute such representations to members on your behalf.
The committee may also visit some or all of the application sites prior to the meeting. Members are there to look at the site and its surroundings and may not engage with members of the public during the visit. Particularly for those sites which members do not visit, our officers may present video footage of the site so the Planning Committee can be made aware of relevant details of the site and its surroundings. Further information may be found in our guide on How the Planning Committee Operates.
Members of the public, including applicants, agents and anybody either supporting or objecting to a planning application that is to be considered by the Planning Committee, may request to speak at the meeting for a maximum of three minutes, although the number of speakers allowed to speak either for or against a proposal is limited. Ward Councillors who are not members of the committee may also speak. The relevant legislation relating to Tree Preservation Orders includes a fixed period during which representations may be submitted and therefore members of the public have no rights to speak on such matters at Planning Committee meetings. Further information on the scheme and how to make a request to speak may be found in our Guide to Public Speaking at Committee guide.
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