The right to speak at a planning committee

We allow local residents the right to speak at planning committee meetings if their objection meets the criteria listed below. 

Who is eligible to speak?

A person wishing to object to a planning application, may speak against an application on a committee agenda which has attracted 10 or more individual objections (a petition is regarded as one objection) prior to 14 days before the committee meeting. 

In addition, the ‘objector’ may speak and object to the following types of applications, regardless of the number of objections made.

  • Any application which, in the opinion of the development manager, raises major policy issues which do not follow approved planning policies or raise significant planning issues.
  • Any application which, in the opinion of the borough planning officer, raises major policy issues which disagree with approved planning policies or raise significant planning issues.
  • 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 2,500 square metres (outline or full applications but not ‘reserved matters’ applications).
  • Applications for residential developments of over 50 dwellings (outline or full applications but not ‘reserved matters’ applications).

If you object to an application and the number of objections received exceeds 10 individual letters, you and the other objectors will be notified of your right to speak. In the case of a petition, the notification will be sent to the petition’s first named person.

Only one person will be allowed to make an oral representation at the meeting, this is chosen on a first come, first served basis. Any additional people wishing to speak will be advised to contact the person who is scheduled to speak so representations can be combined, if necessary.

The right to speak will only be granted at the first meeting where the application is considered by the committee. 

Register to speak at a meeting

If you wish to speak at a meeting, you must register your intention to do so by calling our member services’ answerphone line and leaving a message, including the planning application reference, your name and contact details. 

Phone: 01483 743 014

Please note the answerphone is activated between 9am the day after the planning committee agenda is published and 4pm on the Monday before the meeting (subject to Bank Holidays). 

Once we have received and processed your answerphone message, you will be advised of the committee’s procedure and the application’s agent or applicant will be contacted and advised that representations will be made at the meeting.

Speaker requirements during the meeting

At the meeting, your views will be heard in the following order. 

The objector’s representative will speak first, followed by a representative of the agent or applicant. Each speaker will be allocated three minutes to speak. 

If the objector’s representative fails to appear then the applicant or 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.

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

More information

Full details of the right to speak scheme are set out in our constitution.

Read the council’s constitution

Find out more about the planning committee and meetings

Contact us

For more information contact our member services team.


Phone: 01483 755 855