Planning Committee

Planning Committee

Find out when the next Planning Committee meeting will be held


Please be aware that we are working hard to keep the planning service operating effectively in the face of unprecedented challenges.  We are undertaking site visits on a risk assessed basis where virtual means of assessment are not available.  This is to ensure that we comply with the government guidance on social distancing and to protect our staff and our residents.  We have changed our procedures for Planning Committees, site notices, availability of information by hard copy and office availability.  For more details on our revised processes, please see our FAQs Covid-19 impact on planning processes and bear with us at this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding.


What does the Planning Committee do?

The Planning Committee decides on planning applications that have been referred to it. Not every planning application goes to 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. Find out which applications need to be considered by the Planning Committee and which applications can be decided by Officers.


Can I attend Planning Committee meetings?

Meetings of the Planning Committee are held in public. Members of the public can attend and observe the Planning Committee. At present, the Committee is only held online. The links to live Planning Committees are found on our webcasts page.


Where do Planning Committee meetings take place?

Our Planning Committee meetings are usually held in a room in the Committee Suite of the Civic Centre.  On the day of Planning Committee, staff at the main reception desk will be able to advise you which Committee Room the meeting will be held in.

View accessibility information about the Civic Centre, including the Committee Suite, from Should you have any particular accessibility requirements, please advise Democratic Services in advance of the meeting.


How often does the Planning Committee meet?

The Committee usually meets every 3 weeks on a Friday morning. The meetings commence at 9.30 am. Find out when meetings will be held.


Who is on the Planning Committee and who else attends the meetings?

The Planning Committee has a Chairman and Vice Chairmen and other elected Councillors. To find out more about committee membership,  please view More information about the Planning Committee.

Officers will be at the meeting to advise the Committee and make a formal record of the meeting.


Can I view the agenda and reports before the Planning Committee meeting?

Agenda and reports for the Planning Committee will be available five working days before the meeting from the Planning Committee web page.

If you require the agenda and reports to be translated or provided in Braille, audio or large print, please contact Democratic Services.


Will I be able to speak at the Planning Committee meeting?

Requests for hearings should be made to the Assistant Director Planning at least four working days before the meeting who  will consult the Planning Committee Chair or Vice Chairs and come to a view as to whether a hearing is likely to assist the Committee in determining the application.

Hearings, where the public and ward councillors can address the Committee, should only take place where it is considered necessary to assist the determination of the planning application. At present all hearings, can only take place virtually. 

All requests for hearings should be made in writing to the Assistant Director Planning at least 4 days prior to the Committee meeting. No more than one person will be heard on behalf of the applicant or objector. Where there are more than one applicant or objector, they should determine among themselves who will represent them. The applicant and the objector will each be allowed up to 5 minutes to address the Committee. Ward Councillors can also request to speak about an application at the meeting. Those wishing to speak will be required to submit a written statement (maximum of 2 sides of A4 font 12) by 10am on the Tuesday immediately before the committee meeting. This will enable the statement to be circulated to Committee in advance of the meeting.

More information on virtual hearings at Planning Committee can be found here.

What happens if a number of people wish to speak about an application?

No more than one person will normally be heard on behalf of the applicant or objector. If there are several objectors, you should agree among yourselves who will represent all viewpoints at the meeting.  Therefore, a group of objectors may nominate a spokesperson. Alternatively, you may ask someone to speak for you, or you may use a professional advisor.


Can Ward Councillors speak at the Planning Committee meeting?

It is possible for Ward Councillors, who are not members of the Planning Committee, to speak about an application at the meeting. Members of the Planning Committee can also speak but will not have a vote on the item.


What will happen at the Planning Committee meeting, if there is a hearing?

The Committee will normally consider the applications in agenda order; however, if a hearing has been agreed on an application, the Chair may decide to consider that item first.

The Chair will ask the Planning Officer to briefly introduce the application. The spokesperson who is opposed to the application will be asked to speak, and the Committee may then ask questions of the spokesperson. The applicant or their spokesperson will then be asked to speak in support of the proposal and the Committee may again ask questions.  Any interested Councillors (who do not have a vote on the item) will also be asked to speak.

The Planning Officer will address the Committee on points raised by speakers and will answer any questions from Committee Members. The Committee Members will then discuss the application before making a decision.

The Committee will vote on the recommendation set out in the report.  Should the vote be tied, the Chair can exercise their casting vote.


What issues should I speak about?

The Planning Committee's decision on an application can be based only on planning issues.   See guidance here on the kind of issues.


How long will I be able to speak?

We have to ensure that hearings are conducted in a businesslike manner, because the Committee has a large number of applications to deal with at each meeting.

No more than one person will normally be heard on behalf of applicants or objectors; a maximum of five minutes will be allowed for each side.  This will be the only opportunity to speak at the hearing, excluding answering questions that the Committee may ask.  If you intend to read from a prepared statement, you are advised to check how long it takes to read it to make sure your representation is within the five minutes.


Can I hand out information at the meeting?

The only document that can be handed out is a transcript of the speech made at the meeting. The Committee will not have time to read any other documentation before discussing the application and voting on a decision. Registered speakers and interested councillors, who wish the Committee to take photographs, drawings or other material into account, must first have submitted these documents to the case officer at least four working days before the meeting. All such documents submitted by registered speakers will be considered by the Committee at the discretion of the Chair.


Are the minutes available after the meeting?

The Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting, as a record of  the decision and a summary of proceedings and key matters taken into consideration, will be included in the agenda for the following meeting. View the committee agenda documents.


Customer feedback

If you wish to send us any comments or feedback on the Planning Committee procedure, here is a  short customer satisfaction survey.

Did you know?

The Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting, as a record of  the decision and a summary of proceedings and key matters taken into consideration, will be included in the agenda for the following meeting. View the committee agenda documents.



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