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Speaking at a planning committee

You might be invited to speak at a planning committee (a hearing) if you have written to us either supporting or objecting to a planning application. The purpose of a hearing is to allow the views of applicants and those who have made representations to be heard by councillors before a planning decision is taken.

We must offer you the option to speak at committee for planning applications involving major developments that don't comply in a significant way with land use policies in the development plan.  For an explanation of what major developments are see our guidance note on pre-application consultation - definitions of developments.

In all other cases a hearing may be held for an application that receives a lot of objections and where the planning officer is recommending the application is approved. A request to be heard has to be made to be made to and received by our Executive Director (Community and Enterprise Resources) or Head of Planning and Economic Development Services a minimum of two working days before the committee meets. The decision on whether a hearing will take place is made by the Head of Planning and Economic Development Services and the Chair of the committee.

If it is decided a hearing will be held, we will write to everyone who has made comments on the application and ask if they want to take part. It should be noted that no more than three people (spokespeople) can appear on behalf of all those objecting to the application (the objectors). If there is a large number of objectors, they should decide who the three spokespeople are going to be.

A copy of the report that the committee will see will be sent to the nominated spokespeople. You will also normally be able to see the committee report five working days before the day of the committee - the report will be available via our planning application search.