About planning committee

Decisions on most planning applications are made by officers under powers delegated to them by the council. However, the planning committee determines significant or controversial applications, and those relating to Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) owned property or submitted by a CBC staff member. Members can “call in” an application for determination by committee, and parish councils can also request a committee decision.

The committee is made up of 11 elected members reflecting the political balance of the council. Officers will also attend meetings to present the item and provide advice to members. Officers prepare a written report on each application, which assesses the proposal and all material considerations relating to the case, and conclude with a recommendation to permit or refuse. Material considerations include all letters sent in objection or support of the proposal.

The planning committee meets every month on a Thursday (future dates can be found on the planning committee meeting page). Meetings are held at the Municipal Offices at 6pm. Where there are a significant number of applications to be determined, the Chair may review the start time. This will be advertised on the website when the agenda is published.

Having your say at the planning committee

How do I know if the application I am interested in is going to committee?

The agenda and the officer reports are published on the Wednesday of the week before the meeting and can be viewed online. Updates are published and uploaded as supplements to the agenda as necessary. If you have difficulty in accessing the documents online, please contact 01242 264130.

Can I see a copy of the committee agenda and officer’s report prior to the meeting?

Yes – all papers are available to the public – see above. Very occasionally, the committee deals with sensitive business in “closed” session – in this case the Chair will explain the process before the start of the meeting.

Who can speak at a planning committee meeting?

Any member of the public, applicant or agent who has registered to speak can address the committee, either in support of or objection to an application. In addition, there are speaking rights for ward and parish councillors. The Chair will invite registered speakers to address the committee at the beginning of each agenda item.

If I want to speak, how do I arrange it?

Please contact us at any time after the publication of the agenda, but not later than 10am on the Wednesday prior to planning committee.

How many people can speak on each application?

A maximum of one person is allowed to speak in support and one in objection, plus parish/ward councillors. In the event of more than one request in support or objection being received, we ask that a single person represent the group. If no agreement on a spokesperson can be reached, the speaking slot will be given to the first registered speaker. The Chair has the final decision as to who is allowed to speak.

How long will I be able to speak for?

Members of the public are allowed 5 minutes to speak, and you should practice in advance to make sure you can say all you want to say in that time. Speeches are timed and the Chair will indicate when you have 30 seconds left and will ask you to stop speaking when your 5 minutes are up.

What should I say?

No new written material, documents, plans or photos may be presented to the committee without the Chair’s agreement prior to the start of the meeting. Public speaking allows views to be expressed and facts stated. Speakers may not enter into debate with members, officers or each other and the Chair will not allow cross examination by any party.

When will I speak at the meeting?

Each agenda item will be considered as follows:

  • Officer introduction/presentation
  • Public speaker/ ward councillor representations
  • Member questions
  • Member debate
  • Officer summing up
  • Legal officer takes the vote by show of hands/electronic vote

How will public speaking work on the day?

Please arrive at the council offices at least 10 minutes before the meeting start time. As the main entrance will be closed, please come to the committee room entrance - this is the second door to the right of the main entrance at the front of the building. For more information about attending public meetings, including accessible entry, please vist our Get involved page.

Contact details for speaking at planning committee:

Please contact democratic services on 01242 264251, or email [email protected].

If you have any comments or suggestions for improving the public speaking arrangements, please contact the democratic services team.

Further information

Planning committe meetings, agenda and minutes - information on the last and upcoming planning committee meetings.

Please note that:

  • committee papers, including the agenda and the officer's report/recommendation are normally published on the Wednesday of the week prior to the meeting on Thursday
  • the minutes are normally published on or before the Wednesday of the week before the next committee meeting