How do I know when meetings will be held?
View the full list of all Council meetings. How is the Committee formed?
15 Councillors serve on the Committee. Seats on the Committee are allocated to political groups based on the percentage of seats each group has on the Council as a whole. There is also a pool of substitute members. If a member of the Committee is unable to attend any meeting his/her Group Leader may appoint one of the substitutes to be a member of the Committee for that meeting. View the membership page to find out which members serve on the Committee. Any member who has attended approved training in Development Control during the previous 12 months is eligible to attend as a substitute.
One member is elected to serve as Chairman of the Committee and one member is elected to serve as Vice-Chairman. The Chairman regulates and controls the meeting and ensures that proceedings are conducted in a proper manner. In the absence of the Chairman this role is undertaken by the Vice-Chairman.
Who else is at the meeting?
Planning and environmental health officers who give advice on the planning and health issues that affect each application. A senior legal officer who gives legal and procedural advice during the meeting, and a Committee Officer whose job is to produce the minutes of the meeting.
How are planning applications dealt with?
A "schedule" of applications is prepared for each meeting. Each application on the schedule is dealt with in turn. The Chairman first reads out the application details and then the planning officers describe that application and explain the main policy and other issues which affect it. Members may then ask the officers questions and a debate may follow during which members may "move" and "second" various proposals. Those proposals are then voted upon and a decision is reached. The officers include a recommendation within the schedule for each application, but members may not always consider that recommendation to be appropriate.
My application has been deferred for a site inspection. What happens now?
Occasionally applications are deferred for site inspections. This may happen when, for example, there are contentious issues and members feel that they need to inspect the site before making a decision. When an application is deferred for a site inspection the inspection is made before the next Committee meeting. This allows members to consider the application again at the next meeting.
Can members of the public speak at Committee?
The Council introduced a 12 month trial public speaking scheme (PDF, 18KB)in May 2006.
Are all meetings open to the public?
For the most part, yes. Occasionally the agenda may include an item which is confidential and members of the public and the press will be asked to leave before the item is discussed.
How can I find out what decision was made on an application?
You can contact the Committee Clerk on 01775 761161 after the meeting. Alternatively, printed minutes are usually available 5-10 days after the meeting. These can be inspected at main reception, or you may ask for a copy of a particular page or set of minutes. A small fee of 20p is charged for each A4 page copied. Minutes are also available electronically from this section (archived minutes are also available).
Can I have a copy of the agenda and schedule?
A number of agendas and schedules are available free of charge at main reception on a "first come first served" basis. If you attend a meeting you will also find some copies in the public gallery when you arrive. If you need agendas for all meetings of the Committee you can subscribe and copies will then be forwarded to you automatically by post. Contact a member of the Committee staff on 01775 761161 for details.