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 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 is made available to Committee Members either electronically or in paper at the start of the meeting. Copies of what has been received is also published alongside the agenda. The receipt of later information may mean that a matter is deferred.

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. 

A local member and a representative of the parish council can speak about the application if they choose, for five minutes each. No one else can speak. 

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, speaking at the next committee will be restricted to any new information provided as a result of the deferral. If a matter is deferred solely for a visit and the parish representative has already spoken, the representative will not usually be allowed to speak 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 within the next five working days. If you did not attend, decisions are also published on our website.