Get involved in decision making

Giving your view on a planning application

There are several ways to give your views on a planning application, enforcement issue or tree preservation order. You can comment on planning applications online. You can also have your say on any major planning application throughout the consultation phase and at consultation meetings with the neighbourhood committees and the Development Control Committee.

You can also speak at the meeting where the decision is being made but you'll need to follow the special arrangements.

Speaking when a decision is being made on a planning application

We need to follow special arrangements if a decision is being made at the meeting on a:

  • planning application
  • enforcement case, or
  • tree preservation order

These decisions take place at our neighbourhood committees and at the Development Control Committee. We have special arrangements so applicants and objectors have equal time to make their points to councillors.  

If a decision is being made you must let us know that you want to speak at the meeting by registering to speak. You must do this by date given in the Committee's agenda. (The deadline for registering to speak is usually 10am three working days before the meeting.) 

If at the meeting, a planning application is deferred to another meeting, you must register again to speak at the new meeting. 

These rules have been agreed by the Council and to be fair to everyone, they will apply to everyone and no exceptions will be made.  

If you're going to be affected by the planning application

If you're going to be affected by a planning application, you'll usually receive a letter giving details of the where the application is going to be discussed. It will also let you know who to contact to register to speak and the deadline for registering.

How speaking is arranged at the meeting

For each planning application:

  • five minutes total speaking time is allowed for everyone objecting to the application
  • five minutes total speaking time is allowed for the person applying for the planning application and for those supporting the application
  • more time may be given if the application is very long

Objecting to the application

If you register to speak and want to object to the application, we'll give you the contact details of anyone else who has registered to object. This means you can contact each other and agree how to share the five minutes speaking time.

Supporting the application 

If you register to speak and want to support the application, you'll only get to speak at the meeting if someone has registered to object to the application. This applies even if you are the person making the application.

When you register to speak we'll let you know if anyone has registered to object. But we won't tell you their details. If no one has registered to object you can still register to speak but you will have to call us after the deadline to check if anyone has registered to object. If no one registers to object you won't be allowed to speak.  

Plan what you're going to say in advance 

You may find it helpful to make some notes on what you want to say, so that you make the most of your speaking time. You should read the report on the planning application which will be included in the agenda for the meeting. This is published on our website five working days before the meeting.

If you want to show the Committee information or photographs you need to submit these by 5pm, two days before the meeting. You can send them by post or email to the planning officer given in the agenda for the meeting.

Anything submitted after the deadline won't be considered at the meeting. Councillors need time to give proper consideration to the new information, officers may need to check it for accuracy and give advice on it. 

At the meeting

You need to arrive by 7.15pm so you can meet our staff and go through the arrangements, like where you will be sitting. If the meeting item is about a planning application, people will speak in this order:

  • the planning officer presents the report (there is no time limit)
  • five minutes for those objecting
  • five minutes for those supporting or applying for planning permission 
  • five minutes for questions from committee members seeking clarification from objectors 
  • five minutes for questions from committee members seeking clarification from those supporting or applying for planning permission 
  • no further participation from the public from this point
  • planning officer presents a summary (there is no time limit)
  • questions from committee members to officers (there is no time limit)
  • debate by the committee (there is no time limit)
  • the committee makes a decision

If the meeting item is putting forward enforcement action or a tree preservation order, the order for speaking is:

  • the planning officer presents the report (there is no time limit)
  • five minutes for those objecting to the enforcement action or tree preservation order (usually the land owner)
  • five minutes for those supporting the enforcement action or tree preservation order (usually the Council)
  • (and so on as before)

If you're speaking, you'll be warned when your five minutes is nearly up and a timer will tell you when to stop. The Chairperson is not allowed to extend the time, so you must stop speaking at the end of five minutes.

If you've registered to speak but aren't at the meeting, the committee will only hear from those who are at the meeting and have registered to speak.

Last Modified: 16/10/2020 15:10:04

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