residential development guide for home extensions and new dwellings 


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Public Speaking at The Planning Committee Meeting Guide

It is important to be aware that this is a meeting to which the Public are invited and not a Public Meeting. Dialogue between the public speakers and the Committee Members is therefore not appropriate. Agenda items on Planning Appeals and Enforcement cases will normally be considered before the list of Planning Applications. Traffic Regulation Orders are also considered. However, public speaking is confined to Planning Applications only. 

When the application in which you have an interest is reached, the Planning Officer will explain the proposal and show a site plan, any relevant drawings and colour photographs, on a screen at the front of the Chamber. The Chairman will invite you to come forward at the relevant point. The applicant (or their agent) or a supporter/representative of supporters is always asked to speak first and the objector/representative second. This order does not change. If there is a Local Ward Member to speak, he/she speaks thirdly. You will be asked to join the main body of the meeting at the back of the Chamber, and be shown to a seat where there will be a microphone to allow you to be heard by all present.  

Making Your Case   

It is necessary to limit the time allowed for speaking because of the amount of business that the Committee has to consider. Your case should be made concisely, focusing clearly upon the planning issues which the Committee has to take into account. The three minutes allowed is adequate for this. It is, however, important to consider beforehand how you may best make your case effectively within the allotted time.   The report prepared for the Committee by officers will outline what the key planning considerations are, and will provide a framework on which to base your representations.   It may be useful to bear in mind that the Committee does not simply decide which applications it likes and which it dislikes on a subjective basis. Its powers operate within a general framework, laid down in legislation, which, broadly, is that applications are determined in accordance with land allocations and policies in the Unitary Development Plan (generally referred to as the UDP) unless material considerations indicate otherwise.  

In coming to their decision, the Committee will need to have regard to all relevant national, regional and local planning policies and all other "material planning considerations". The UDP, is a key document which outlines the allocated uses of land and local planning policies.  Some issues commonly raised by objectors to planning applications are not established as "material planning considerations" and the Committee cannot , therefore, take these into account in reaching their decision. It is therefore not in your interest to focus on such concerns, important as they may be to you. In general terms, such issues which are not material include:-  

  • the effect on property values
  • the identity of the applicant or owner, and their alleged history;
    disputes over the ownership of land and site boundaries;
    the effect of a development on the enjoyment of a private view (as opposed to wider public amenity)
  • issues of commercial competition.

Material considerations which can be taken into account by the Committee, include:-  

  • the planning history of the site
  • the visual impact of development
  • affect on public amenity
  • access
  • traffic and highway considerations
  • the impact on statutory protected sites, buildings and trees.

In the case of house extensions and alterations, the Council's Residential Design Guide is relevant.   After you have spoken, you should return to your seat in the Public Gallery. You will not be asked any questions. There must be no further questions or comments from the Public Gallery. If this happens, the Chairman will call the meeting back to order.  


Public speaking guide - typical council approach

Planning Committee guidance - typical council approach


Planning Permision in the Open Countryside