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Craven District Council

Public Participation at Planning Committee

A guide for representatives wishing to speak at Planning Committee meetings.


The Council's Planning Committee has resolved that applicants, parish councils/meetings and objectors will be given opportunity to speak directly to the members of the Committee with regard to planning applications which are to be decided by the Committee.

Applications which are decided under the Council's Planning Scheme of Delegation will not be subject to the
procedures detailed in this leaflet.

Dealing with planning applications

The Planning Committee decides all applications which cannot be dealt with under the Scheme of Delegation.

All applications which are to be decided by the Committee are included in the Plans List, which forms part of the Committee Agenda.

The Plans List contains an officer's report and recommendation for each application.

The Plans List is dealt with by Committee in order, although the Chairman has discretion to bring items forward if required.

The Chairman will state which application is being dealt with and ask the officer to present the application.
Representations are usually summarised in the officer's report, but all representations are available on the
Council's website.

After the officer has spoken, the Chairman will ask if anybody representing the parish council/meeting,
objector or applicant wishes to address the meeting. If so, they will be asked to speak in that order.

At this point, any Ward member will be invited to address the Committee.

Following this session the Chairman will open the Committee debate. Applicants, parish
councils/meetings and objectors may not participate in this debate.

Following the debate the Committee will determine the application or give delegated authority to the Planning Manager to deal with the application in a particular way (e.g. to allow for amendments to be

Guidelines for procedure on other agenda items including items to be taken in private

The public participation procedures also apply to any other items on the Planning Committee agenda. The
persons entitled to address the Committee may vary depending on the nature of the item to be debated, but
will normally include the parish council/meeting, a person wishing to raise objections to an item/proposal and either an applicant or a person wishing to make representations in support of an item/proposal. Each person or parish council/meeting will be allowed 5 minutes to address the Committee before the item is debated by the Committee.

Additionally, in any case where the Committee's deliberations might be in private (with specific legal
justification), for example where it has been recommended by officers that a report be taken in private, the
parish council/meeting, an objector (or a representative of objectors, if there is more than one) and the
applicant or a person wishing to make representations in support of an item/proposal will be given the
opportunity to make their views known to the Committee (limited to 5 minutes each) before the Committee
goes into private session.

Guidelines for applicants, parish councils or meetings and objectors wishing to address the planning committee

i. Only applications which are to be considered by Committee will be subject to presentations by applicants, parish councils/meetings and objectors.

ii. Parish Councils/meetings. one objector (representing all objectors where there are more then one) and applicants will each be allowed up to 5 minutes to address the Committee.

iii. One person representing all who wish to make representations in favour will be allowed 5 minutes to address the Committee only if the applicant does not wish to address it.

iv. Any person or parish council/meeting entitled to address the Committee may elect to be represented by an agent.

v. Each person or parish council/meeting entitled to address the meeting shall have only one opportunity to do so in respect of any application being considered.

vi. Where the matters raised by a person or Parish council/meeting addressing the committee are clearly not
capable of being taken into account as planning considerations, the Chairman shall have the discretion to intervene and if necessary, disqualify that person from speaking further.

vii. Applicants (via their agents where applicable), objectors and parish council/meetings will be notified of their rights to be heard by the Planning Committee by standard letter dispatched at the same time as the Committee Agenda is published.

viii. When the Committee is considering a controversial application, which has generated a considerable number of representations, or there are exceptional circumstances, the Chairman should have discretion to (i) extend the time period allocated to each party and (ii) to allow more than one person representing objectors/applicants to speak by splitting the time allocated.

IX. Where potential spokespersons for those making representations cannot reach agreement on who will speak, the speaker(s) should be selected on a "first come first served" basis to avoid any risk of bias.

X. Allow discretion for the Chairman to ask questions of the applicant or agent for clarification on a matter of fact when the case officer is not able to provide an answer. The ability to seek clarification during debate may avoid a need to defer consideration.

XI. Spokespersons wishing to circulate additional information e.g. photographs or use of visual aids at the meeting will be required to submit any such late information to the case officer in advance of the meeting i.e noon on the last working day before the meeting date. The use or circulation of handouts, photographs or props at the meeting by the spokespersons will not be permitted.

XII. Determination of an application will not be delayed because an individual who has indicated a wish to speak is not/not ready to do so with the application is announced by the Chairman.

XIV. It should be noted:-

i. Those addressing the Committee of the laws relating to slander (e.g. inclusion of a statement along the lines of "speakers should bear in mind that in making their presentations to Committee they have no protection from the laws governing defamation.") and drawing attention to the Protocol for audio/visual recording and photography at meetings.

ii. Those attending meetings of the Planning Committee are open for members of the public to attend but they are not public meetings, and

iii. The dialogue between those attending and the Committee is limited to those persons speaking under public participation on behalf of the parish council/meeting, objectors and the applicant.