Most planning applications received by the council are decided by a planning officer. However, some applications are decided at the monthly planning committee. These are usually high-profile cases which have created a lot of public interest.
The committee comprises 15 elected members of the council with the composition reflecting the prevailing political balance.
The planning officers prepare a detailed report for each application considered by the committee. This report includes an assessment of the proposal, comments from consultees (such as the Environment Agency, the local Civic Society, and internal sources such as conservation and tree officers) and any written submissions sent by members of the public. The report ends with a recommendation to the members. Photographs and plans are available to assist committee members in their considerations. Council officers attend the meeting to advise members and to answer any questions arising from the debates.
The committee agenda is published on the Wednesday of the week before the meeting. Updates to the agenda papers are published prior to the meeting and there may be a final update for members to read on the day of the meeting. All reports are available on the website.
Committee meetings are open to the press and public. Occasionally, there may be an "exempt" item which needs to be decided in closed session and the Chairman will announce this at the start of the meeting.
The committee can approve, refuse or (occasionally) defer an application. Decision notices are issued within two working days of the committee meeting.
Having your say at the planning committee
We encourage public involvement in the planning process and members of the public have the opportunity to put their views on a planning proposal direct to the planning committee. The opportunity to speak at the planning committee is in addition to the statutory process of written submissions.
Members of the public who wish to speak on individual items must register by 10am on the Wednesday prior to a planning committee meeting. Please contact the planning committee co-ordinator on 01242 774940. Our 'Have your say - Public speaking at planning committee' leaflet sets out the procedure to be followed and will help you prepare for the event.
We hope that you find the public speaking facility helpful in allowing you to participate in a process in which the council makes important decisions. If you have any comments or suggestions for improving the public speaking arrangements, please contact built environment.
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 published on the Wedneday of the week before the next committee meeting