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Public speaking at planning and development control committee

These are the amended rules for public speaking during the COVID-19 period for remote meetings of Planning and Development Control Committee (PDCC). They should be read in accordance with APPENDIX A1: Remote Meetings Procedure Rules for the Committee as approved by PDCC on 13 May 2020. In exceptional cases the Chair can change these.

If you want to register as a speaker please contact Democratic Support on 0116 454 6355 or 454 6357 or email committees@leicester.gov.uk no later than noon on the day before the committee meeting.

Public speaking is an opportunity to make your views known in person to the committee; however, letters and emails sent during the consultation period are still the best way for views to be properly considered and included in the officer’s report. Objectors can only speak if they have previously made their views known in writing.

Only "material planning considerations” are relevant; more advice can be found on the Planning Portal website.

The public speaking scheme only applies to planning applications which are being decided at the Planning and Development Control Committee.

Most planning applications are dealt with by officers under what are called delegated powers.

Generally, applications are only considered by the committee if they are recommended for approval and there are objections from six or more different addresses within the city, or a councillor has asked for the application to go to committee.

We will write to objectors and applicant’s agents in advance if and when an application is due to be considered by the committee.

The committee sometimes considers other matters e.g planning enforcement action, Traffic Regulation Order consultations and confirmation of Tree Preservation Orders. Members of the public will not be invited to speak on these reports; however non-committee councillors can speak with the permission of the Chair.

The applicant or their representative, anyone who has made a written objection, or a lead petitioner, can speak at the committee using an audio link facilitated by Democratic Support officers.

An elected member may also speak on an application within their ward. The Chair will only allow another non-committee member to speak in exceptional circumstances.

A total of five minutes is allowed for each category of speaker - applicants, objectors and non-committee members.

If you wish to speak at the committee you must let us know before noon on the day before the committee meeting. Objectors must have already submitted a written objection.

By registering to speak you are accepting the conditions set out in this information.

You must also agree to abide by any decisions or advice given by the chair of the committee or council officers.

You must only speak about planning matters. Please do not make personal or derogatory remarks about anyone. Such matters are not relevant and could lead to legal action.

Please let Democratic Support know. Your previously made representation will still be considered; however a decision on the application cannot be held back and at the Chair’s discretion the meeting will proceed to determine the application.

The Democratic Support Officer will ask speakers to agree to one person speaking on behalf of the others. Alternatively the time might be shared between those wanting to speak (for the applicant, for objectors and as non-committee members) and this needs to be agreed and confirmed with the Democratic Support Officer in advance of the meeting. If an agreement cannot be reached, the five minutes allowed would be given to the first person to have registered their intention to speak.

A total of five minutes will be allowed for the applicant, agent or someone else on their behalf to speak to explain their proposal and/or to address objections. They will normally speak first; however they may, if requested by members, through the Chair, at any time before a decision is made, answer points of clarification raised by other speakers or members of the committee.

The planning committee normally meets remotely every three weeks at on a Wednesday at 5.30pm although timings of meetings may be subject to change and this will be published on the Decisions, meetings and minutes website.

Detailed arrangements and timings for speakers joining the meeting will be confirmed by Democratic Support with speakers who have registered to speak.

The planning committee is made up of elected councillors. Council staff attend to advise and to formally record the meeting. Any member of the public may remotely log on via the link provided on the council website and listen to the debate. A recording of the proceedings will be made available to view after the meeting.

The proceedings are broadcast through a 'web cast' which can be viewed by anyone using the internet - live or later, subject to internet capability.

Anyone who chooses to take part in the committee meeting should understand that they will be heard by the public.

The general order of business at the meeting is as indicated on the committee agenda; however individual applications, reports and other items of business are frequently taken out of order. This will be explained by the chair at the start of the meeting.

The agenda and reports will be available a week before the meeting on the internet on the Decisions, meetings and minutes website.

An additional paper (the addendum report) containing information received after the reports have been written, will be available online at the meeting.

You may contact your local councillor about any planning matter, find out more on our Councillors and wards page.

Please note that if you wish to contact any members of the planning committee you must copy correspondence to the planning service: planning@leicester.gov.uk

You must not approach members of the committee at the meeting itself.

The Planning Committee may only consider relevant planning issues. Please limit your comments to matters such as:

  • Appearance of the proposal.
  • Traffic generation, highway safety and parking
  • Overshadowing, overlooking and privacy
  • Noise, disturbance or other loss of amenities
  • Layout and density of buildings

Please avoid matters that cannot be considered by the committee such as:

  • Boundary disputes, covenants or other property rights
  • Personal remarks (such as the applicant’s motives)
  • Reduction in property values
  • Loss of private view over the land

We may be able to show your own photos while you speak providing there are no more than four of these and they are capable of being shown within a Powerpoint format. They will have to be received by Democratic Support no later than two days before the committee.

You can include reasonable questions relating to facts relevant to the planning consideration of the application within the time allocated for you to speak.

When making your speech please make it clear that you are asking for an answer to a specific question on a point of information.

  • The chair will announce the application
  • A planning officer will give a short introduction
  • applicants, objectors and non-committee councillors, may speak (if previously registered)
  • the committee will then discuss the application.
  • The chair may ask officers to respond to questions raised or to clarify certain points at any time.
  • No one else can speak during the debate except the applicant (or agent) if specifically asked a question by the chair.

The committee will make a decision on the application.

This decision may be different from that recommended by officers in the main report or addendum report.

All recorded objectors will again be invited to speak at a subsequent meeting when the application will be discussed.

The decision notice is sent to the applicant or their agent. This will normally be the day after the committee but sometimes there are additional procedures which can delay the final decision. For example the decision may be subject to a legal agreement or to additional decisions which may have delegated to officers to conclude on.

The decision will be available for anyone to view on our website within a few days of the notice being issued.

When an application has been refused, the applicant may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Any representations made on the application will be forwarded to the Inspectorate.

Where an application has been granted, there is no opportunity for objectors to appeal.

The details of the committee’s decision making are given in the published minutes of the meeting available a week or two after the meeting.