How the decision making process works

Most applications have an 8 week target deadline for a decision during which consultations will have been sent out, replies received and the Planning Officer will have visited the site. Certain larger applications have a 13 or 16 week target date.

As the application progresses, the planning  officer will consider the planning policies and Government guidance, third party representations, neighbour and consultee responses and other relevant factors before drafting a recommendation for approval or refusal.

Will the application be heard by Planning Committee?

Most planning applications are determined by authorised Planning officers, under Delegated powers. However, a small number of applications fall to be determined by the Planning Committee. 

A planning application is only decided by the Planning Committee if:

  • The applicant is the District Council itself, a District Councillor, an Officer of the Planning Department or another senior officer of the Council;
  • It has been referred to Committee by a District Councillor; or
  • The recommended decision may run counter to an earlier decision to undertake enforcement action; or
  • It is a major application with one or more objections or a non-major application which has attracted 10 or more objections. Please be aware that for this purpose (and this purpose only) the following  would each be counted as one objection:
     
    • separate letters from individual households
    • duplicate letters from separate households
    • a petition signed by a number of people. 

Planning Committee

The Committee meets approximately every four weeks and is a public meeting, so you will be allowed to sit in and hear the arguments for and against the proposal and hear the decision that is made.  In certain circumstances, applicants and objectors are allowed to speak at meetings.

Find out more about Icon for pdf Public Speaking at Planning Committee [138.79KB]

At a committee meeting, a planning officer normally introduces the application. A representative of the objectors and the applicant (or their agent) may then speak if this is allowed and then the Councillors debate and decide on the application. The Agenda and the officer's report are available at least 5 working days before the day of the Planning Committee meeting. 

Committee agenda papers, the planning officers reports to committee, minutes of Committee meetings and dates of future meetings can be online Please note that very occasionally,  in exceptional circumstances, it is necessary to rearrange Committee meetings dates. The dates are kept up-to-date at all times.

Planning Committee dates, agenda papers and minutes