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Speaking at the Development Control Committee

This page contains details of the procedures relating to registering to speak at a Development Control Committee meeting, how many persons can address the committee and guidance on what you should say to the committee, and what happens at the meeting itself.

Background

When an application has been identified to be considered at a particular committee meeting the Development Control Committee Section will inform the applicant (or their agent) and any person who has made representations on the application that it is due to be considered by the committee and to give those persons the opportunity to make a verbal presentation at the committee meeting. This procedure only relates to applications determined by the Council.

When are the committee meetings held?

The Development Control Committee meetings are usually held every four weeks and normally begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at the main Council Offices in Station Road, Wigston. It is advisable that speakers at the committee should arrive a little earlier and inform the Clerk of the Committee that they have arrived.

The committee agendas are published at least five working days before the committee meeting and are available to view at the main council offices. The agenda is also available to view on our web site (Development Control Committee Agenda)

How do I register my interest to speak at the committee meeting?

Any person wishing to speak at the committee should contact the Development Control Section by no later than 4:00 p.m. on the working day before the committee meeting. They should indicate whether they wish to speak as the applicant (or agent) or whether they are in support or against the proposal. Only persons who have made written representations will qualify and be allowed to speak at the committee meeting.

Speaking opportunities shall be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If a number of people want to speak for or against a proposal the onus is on them to appoint a speaker. However, the applicant (or agent) will always be given the opportunity to address the committee. If objectors or supporters cannot agree on a spokesperson the objector or supporter who registered first will be the one permitted to speak. The identified speakers may defer to another at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee.

Your contact name, number or address may be disclosed to other persons wishing to address the committee to assist in the appointment of a spokesperson should there be more persons who wish to address the committee than allowed under the public speaking protocol.

How many people can address the committee?

There will be a maximum of four public speakers (excluding ward councillors not on the committee or councillors with prejudicial interests) allowed to speak. These would consist of the applicant (or agent), one supporter, one objector and a further objector or supporter of the proposal (dependent on the level of representation and who registers to speak first). There will be a time limit of five minutes per person and each speaker can only speak once.

What should I say at the committee meeting?

Your comments must be completed in five minutes and be a statement of your objections or support. It is not an opportunity to ask questions. No letters or additional information can be distributed at the committee meeting and videos, overheads and electronic presentations are only allowed at the discretion of the Chair.

Comments should also be limited to relevant planning considerations. Examples of some relevant planning considerations are as follows (although this list is not exhaustive):-

  1. layout and density of buildings,
  2. overshadowing, overlooking and loss of privacy, noise disturbance or other loss of amenities,
  3. appearance and character of the development,
  4. traffic generation, highway safety, parking,
  5. relevant planning policies.

You should avoid references to matters which are not material planning considerations. Examples of matters which are not relevant planning considerations are as follows (although this list is not exhaustive):-

  1. boundary disputes, covenants or other property rights,
  2. personal remarks (for example the applicant's motives),
  3. reduction in property values,
  4. loss of private view over the land,
  5. matters dealt with under other laws (for example licensing).

At the Chair’s discretion, members of the committee may ask a visiting speaker to clarify a point of fact after their statement has been made before the application is debated. However, this is not intended to result in a dialogue between the committee members and the speaker.

Any issue deemed to be defamatory, derogatory or to relate to a specific officer or member will not be permitted and the speaker will be informed accordingly.

If the person chosen to speak would like help preparing their case, Planning Aid may be able to assist them. Planning Aid is a charity run by volunteers and not connected with Oadby and Wigston Borough Council. If you would like help you should contact:

Email: emcw@planningaid.rtpi.org.uk
Address: East Midlands Planning Aid Service, 15 Wheeler Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2NA
Telephone : 0870 850 9802

What happens at the committee meeting?

Generally, the Chair will introduce each item on the agenda and then proceed as follows:

  1. Any councillors with prejudicial interest in the application to address the committee (if any).
  2. The applicant or agent of the application may then address the committee.
  3. Supporters or objectors of the application can address the committee with up to three members of the public allowed to address the committee which can consist of a maximum of two supporters or two objectors (for example all three places cannot be taken up by objectors).
  4. Ward councillors who are not committee members may then address the committee (if any).
  5. The Planning Officer or Development Control Manager will present the application and include any information detailed on the agenda update.
  6. The Development Control Committee members to debate and determine the application, involving officers as and when necessary.

If an application is deferred until another meeting for further information or negotiations, before or after public speaking, then the process is repeated. The right to speak does not extend to site visits.

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