Planning committee

Planning committee is a formal meeting of councillors who make decisions on certain planning applications. 

The committee is usually held every four weeks. Meetings generally start at 4pm at Castle House.

You can view previous or upcoming agendas, minutes and reports on our website.

The reasons why some planning applications go to planning committee and some don't are explained on our planning decisions page.

If your application is going to planning committee

We’ll let you or your agent know if an application is to be determined at planning committee. You can view the agenda for future meetings on our website.

For each application going to committee, we write a committee report. Each report includes:

  • a description of the site and the application
  • a list of relevant planning policies
  • details of any letters we have received about the application
  • a detailed assessment of the application
  • the officer’s recommended decision

Copies of the reports are available five working days before the date of committee (copies are not made available to the public at the meeting).

The Council has a duty to consider all material planning considerations up to the point of a decision being made. That often means that late information, such as information submitted between the agenda being published and the actual decision being made, is submitted. Such information, when received is made available to Committee Members either electronically or in paper 2 days prior to the meeting. Additional information received after this time is verbally presented by Officers.  Copies of what has been received is also published alongside the agenda. The receipt of later information may mean that a matter is deferred.

We permit public speaking in accordance with the Protocol for Planning Committee V2 (PDF File, 496kb) People wish to speak to Planning Committee need to (a) have commented on the application at the time it is published on the committee agenda and (b) register 72 hours before the meeting via this form.  Full details of the process can be found within the Protocol for Planning Committee.

Who attends planning committee meetings?

The planning committee is a public meeting that anyone can attend. You do not have to stay for the whole meeting.

Our planning committee is made up of 15 members of the Council. Some officers of the Council also attend, including business managers, planning officers, a legal representative and an administration officer.

At the start of the meeting, any officer or councillor declares if they have an interest in any item on the agenda.  Members may leave the meeting due to the nature of interest.

Planning committee site visits

Councillors may choose to undertake a site visit. These normally take place during the morning on the day of committee. A letter will be sent to the applicant or agent before the visit to ensure access is available. We’ll normally spend around 10 to 15 minutes at the site along with looking at the plans.

A planning officer will attend the site visit to answer any questions. Planning committee members cannot speak to any applicant, agent, local resident or member while at the site.

What happens at the meeting?

The chairperson will open the meeting. One of our officers will then give details of the application. 

Usually the chairperson and the vice-chairperson will propose and second the Officer recommendation.  This is to open up the discussion and does not mean either person will vote in line with the Officer recommendation at the end of the debate. 

A local member, a representative of the parish council, objector and applicant or agent/ or supporter can speak about the application if they choose, for three minutes each. No one else can speak. The chairperson will invite the speaker to present and the speaker will then be required to return to the public area.  Speakers are not permitted to partake in the debate.  

Any questions raised by committee members will be answered by planning officers. During the debate, members will propose and second a decision. This may not be the same as the decision that officers have recommended within the report. If committee members refuse or approve an application contrary to the officer’s recommendation, they must give clear planning reasons for their decision.

Members will then vote on the application and the chair will announce the decision. This is repeated for each application.

We normally determine every application going to committee however, sometimes applications can be deferred. This is usually to allow members to visit the site, to seek further information, or to amend the plans. 

If an application has previously been deferred without being debated, the application will be heard in full as normal at the next committee it is presented to.

If the application is deferred following debate, anyone who would like to speak when the application is subsequently published on a committee agenda will be required to register to speak once again.

What happens after the meeting?

After committee we’ll action the decision made by the planning committee, and send it out to you or your agent, usually, within the next five working days unless the recommendation requires further actions e.g. completion of a s106 planning obligation. If you did not attend, decisions are also published on our website.