Public Speaking at Planning Committee - At The Meeting

Agenda items involving public speaking will have presentations made in the following order:

  • introduction of item by officers
  • representations by objectors
  • representations by supporters or applicant (or representative)
  • clarification of any points by officers
  • consideration of applications by councillors, including any questions to objector/supporter/applicant (or representative)

All speakers will have a maximum of 3 minutes to address committee. You will be asked by the chairman of the committee to move to a designated seating area before you speak.  The 3 minute limit will be strictly applied by the chairman and depending on whether or not the councillors have any questions to ask you, you will then be asked to go back to your seat in the public gallery. 

Speakers may only reiterate and further explain matters they have already made in writing to the planning officer; no new matters may be introduced or will be considered by committee.

Speakers should restrict themselves only to matters which are material to the determination of the planning application and should at all times act courteously to members, officers, the applicant and other interested parties.  At no time should defamatory or other accusatory comments be made.

Speakers are advised to make a statement of fact or opinion, but you are likely to have a greater impact if you are brief and to the point.  You must confine yourself to relevant planning issues, which may include the following:

  • Local Plan policies and planning guidance
  • Highway safety and traffic
  • Noise, disturbance, smells
  • Impact on residential amenity and privacy
  • Relationship with existing buildings and uses
  • Design appearance and layout
  • Conservation of trees, buildings, landscape etc.

But should not include matters such as effect on value of property, private property rights or loss of view, as these are not planning matters.

Speakers will not be allowed to circulate any written, photographic or illustrative material at the meeting and will not be allowed to refer to any visual aids other than those already available at the committee.

Speakers will not be allowed to ask any questions of members, officers, the applicant (or his representative) or other speakers.

The planning officer may add extra comment after each speaker to advise councillors on matters raised before the application is debated by the committee.

If an application is deferred to enable more information to be supplied by officers, or for members to undertake a site visit, those speakers who have already made representations to committee will not be allowed to make further representations either at the site visit or at the next meeting of the committee at which the applications is to be considered.

At all times the discretion of the chairman of the committee will prevail.  The meeting may be suspended or the chairman may ask you to leave under standing orders at any time, if necessary for the purpose of maintaining order at the meeting.