The right to speak at planning committee

The Council has adopted a public speaking scheme to enable residents to express their objections at the Planning Committee to applications which meet the criteria. Objectors may speak against any application which attracts 10 or more individual objections (a petition is regarded as one objection) prior to 14 days before the meeting. In addition the public has the right to speak in objection to the following types of applications, irrespective of the number of objections made:

  • Any application which, in the opinion of Borough Planning Officer, raises major policy issues which is at variance with approved planning policies, or is of such a magnitude that significant planning issues are raised.

  • Any application for development requiring an Environmental Statement under the provisions of Schedule I and II of the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 and any subsequent amending regulations.

  • Applications for major commercial development with a floor space exceeding 2500 sq. metres (outline or detailed applications), but not reserved matters.

  • Applications for residential developments of over 50 dwellings (outline or detailed applications), but not reserved matters.

If the number of objections received exceeds 10 individual letters, notification is sent to all those who have submitted an objection, advising them of their right to speak (in the case of a petition the first named person).

Only one representative of the objectors will be allowed to make an oral representation, chosen on a `first come first served' basis. Any subsequent representatives wishing to speak will be advised to contact the person who will be appearing so that representations can be combined if necessary.

To register to speak at a meeting, representatives have to leave their details on the Council's Planning answerphone which is active from 9 am the day after the agenda is published to 4 pm on the Monday before the Committee meeting. The enquirer will be advised of the arrangements for the procedure at the Committee and the agent or applicant will be contacted and advised that representations are to be made.

Representative's views will be heard at the meeting in the following order: representative of the objectors and representative of the agent/applicant. Each speaker will be allocated three minutes. If the objector fails to appear then the applicant/agent will not be entitled to speak. Where more than one person has registered, the second named representative is entitled to speak if the first named speaker has not arrived five minutes before the start of the meeting.

The right to speak will only be exercised at the first Council meeting at which the application is considered.

Detailed information on the procedure for speaking at Planning Committee will be provided to those who register to speak.

Full details of the scheme are set out in the Council's Constitution.

For further information, please contact Member Services on 01483 743863 or email