What does Planning Committee do?

The Planning Committee decides on planning applications that have been referred to it. Not every planning application goes before the Committee. More than 90% of applications are decided by planning officers under what are known as delegated powers. This means that the Planning Committee has given the authority to planning officers to make decisions on applications.

Where does Planning Committee take place?

Planning Committee usually meets in the Guildhall on Thursdays on a four-weekly cycle, with public speaking commencing at 4pm however this is subject to change and as such speakers are advised accordingly. Members of the public are welcome at Planning Committee meetings.

Planning Committee Agenda

The agenda for Planning Committee meetings can be viewed here.

Can I speak at Planning Committee?

You have rights to be notified about planning applications directly affecting you. Your written comments will be copied to all members of Planning Committee. The opportunity to speak at Committee is in addition to these rights. Applicants and agents only have a right to address Committee if an objector also wishes to speak.  Registered objectors will be heard whether or not applicants are present. Applicants should register their interest in speaking if they consider that objections may be heard to which they wish to respond.

Unless their is a significant change you will not be allowed to address planning committee if you have done so previously.

Please note: Neighbouring residents will not be informed if a planning application is to be determined by Planning Committee but you can check the application status using the Planning Search Function

If speaking at Planning Committee, please be aware that there is a 5 minute time limit and so you should carefully consider the main points you wish to make to members of the committee.

Please be aware that if several people wish to speak regarding the same application, the 5 minutes will have to be shared between the speakers. Speakers are not entitled to 5 minutes per person. You can consult the Committee Clerk to find out who has registered to speak.

Register your request to speak with the Committee section at the Guildhall by 4.30 pm on the day before the relevant Planning Committee meeting.

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What will happen at Planning Committee?

The Chairman will invite people objecting and supporting to speak for a maximum of five minutes on each side. If there is more than one speaker registered on either side, the Chairman will announce the order in which they will be called. At the end of the subsequent debate, the Committee may ask you questions.

Having heard all submissions and debated the issues, the Planning Committee will then vote on the application. This may be for any one of the following:

  1.  To approve or refuse the application in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation;
  2. To defer the application for further information or negotiations to address any issues raised during the consideration of the application. In such cases, the application will then be referred back to the Planning Committee at a later date for a decision.
  3. To delegate the final decision to Officers if the Planning Committee is satisfied that agreed amendments would satisfy any concerns raised by the Planning Committee. If this is the case you will not be re-consulted on the amendments or notified of changes;
  4. Minded to Approve/Refuse – in cases where the Planning Committee is minded to make a decision that is contrary to the Officer’s recommendation the application will be deferred:

Minded to Refuse - if the Planning Committee is minded to refuse an application it will be necessary for the Planning Committee to provide full details of the grounds for their decision to enable Officers to consider those grounds and to provide a professional opinion on the likelihood of being able to successfully defend an appeal against the refusal of the application on the cited grounds. . In such cases, the application will be referred back to the Planning Committee at a later date for a decision;

Minded to Approve - if the Planning Committee is minded to approve an application it will be necessary for the Planning Committee to give full reasons and suggest appropriate conditions and, if necessary, draft Heads of Terms for a Section 106 Agreement. In such cases the application will either be referred back to the Planning Committee at a later date for a decision or delegated to Officers to issue the decision.

The decision of the Committee or the Development Services Manager is final, subject to the applicant only having the right of appeal to the Secretary of State. The City Council provide information regarding the Planning Appeals Process.

Making Comments

Should you wish to make any further representations to an application following publication of the Planning Committee agenda all comments should be received by no later than 4pm on the day before the Planning Committee meeting to enable circulation to Members of the Planning Committee for their attention in the consideration of the application at the meeting.

If you wish to provide the City Council with your comments on an application it is recommended that you utilise the Planning Search Function to review the online documentation and make comments online. This allows the City Council to process the comments quicker and provides you with a notification of receipt.