Speaking at Planning Committee

Speaking at Planning Committee

The majority of planning applications are determined by the Director of Planning under the Authority’s Scheme of Delegation and are not subject to public speaking.

Everyone has the right to give their comments in writing on all planning applications but if you have views about a planning application which is being determined by the Planning Committee you or your representative may be able to give your views verbally at the Committee Meeting.

Who can speak at Planning Committee?

The applicant or agent can speak, one person can speak in favour of the application, one against, and one on behalf of the Parish Council.You will be advised if more than one person wishes to speak for or against and in such cases one spokesperson should be appointed to represent all those who wish to speak. If you cannot agree on one spokesperson the person who notified us first will usually be allowed to speak.

How do I know if the application I am interested in will be heard at Planning Committee?

The week before the Committee Meeting we will write to everyone who submitted written comments on an application to advise them that the application is due to be heard at a Committee Meeting. We will also notify all applicants/agents (where an agent is working on your behalf, only the agent will receive details of this) and Parish/Town Councils. If you were originally consulted on the application but did not write in then you will not be notified.

The Planning Agenda contains a comprehensive report for each application which includes a summary of all the views received in writing before the Agenda went to print. This can be viewed together with third party representations and comments from the Parish/Town Council five working days before the Meeting if you follow the link from the relevant meeting on the Meetings and Agendas page. Alternatively a hard copy is held at the National Park Offices in Helmsley.

Any comments that come in after the Agenda has gone to print will be summarised on the ‘Members Update Sheet’ which will be available both for Members and members of the public from 9.30am the morning of the Planning Committee. Any additional parish comments and third party representations will also be uploaded onto the Authority’s Planning Explorer website if and when we receive these.

How can I register to speak at Planning Committee?

If you intend to speak you must register with the Development Management Administration Team on 01439 772700 or email by 12 noon the day before the Committee Meeting. It would be helpful if you could provide us with a contact number where, if necessary, you can be contacted during the day.

What will happen in the Committee Meeting?

The applications will usually be discussed in the order they appear on the Agenda. Please note it is not possible to estimate how long each item will take, at what time a particular item will be heard or what time you will be asked to speak as each application will vary.

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, a Member of the Authority with a prejudicial interest in the application cannot vote and will be asked to leave the room prior to the item being considered, however they are able to address the Members before departing. If they have a personal interest they must declare this, however they can still take part in discussions and vote. In both instances Members should declare their interest prior to the application being discussed.

The Officer will give a brief summary of the application and the development involved. The Chairman will then ask the speakers to address the Planning Committee in the following order:

  • Applicant or Agent
  • Speaker in favour
  • Speaker against
  • A representative of the Parish Council

Each speaker can address the Committee for a maximum of three minutes – you will be asked politely, by the Chairman to stop speaking if you exceed the allocated three minutes.

Speakers must not say anything that is potentially defamatory. Doing so may result in you being asked to leave the meeting.

You will not be able to pass written plans, photographs or materials around or use the Authority’s visual aids. However, if you wish to have information circulated to Members, we require 30 copies to be delivered to the Development Management Administration Team by 12 noon on the day before the Meeting. If you wish to make comments to be summarised and reported to Members on the ‘Members Update Sheet’ we require these comments by 12 noon on the day before the Meeting.

Committee Members and Planning Officers will not usually be able to ask you questions nor will you be able to ask any questions. You cannot speak further in the Meeting; you must have incorporated everything you wish to say into your allocated three minutes, unless authorised to do so by the Chairman.

The Planning Officer will briefly summarise the main issues involved and their recommendation, the Committee will then discuss the proposal, take a vote and usually make a decision.

If an application is on the Agenda, will it definitely be considered/decided?

Most of the applications on the Agenda will be dealt with at the Committee Meeting however it is possible that an application may be withdrawn at any point prior to the Meeting; if this is the case we will aim to contact anyone that has booked into speak to advise them of this.

A decision on some items may be deferred to allow further information to be obtained or negotiations to take place. In exceptional circumstances a Committee Site Visit may be held. Such visits will take place in accordance with the adopted Code of Practice; if such a visit is to take place you would be notified of this process in due course after the Meeting.

(Whilst this is the scheme adopted by the Authority there may be exceptional circumstances in which the Chairman can exercise a discretion to depart from the scheme).

Useful information to download

Public speaking at Planning Committee - Guidance note (pdf)


Development Management Administration Team
01439 772700

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