COMMENTING ON PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND PUBLIC SPEAKING AT PLANNING COMMITTEE
1. YOUR CHANCE TO COMMENT
Finding out what members of the public think about new development and planning applications, is a fundamental part of the Development Control Service. The City Council aims to consult as widely as possible, in order that the views and opinions of local citizens can be considered when the City Council is determining whether planning permission should be granted or not.
In addition to consulting the general public, the City Council also has a responsibility to consult a range of statutory consultees. These can include:
Anyone can comment on a planning application. The plans and other information submitted as part of the application are available to be viewed at the reception of the Planning Department in City Hall.
š You can comment in writing, by e-mail, by fax or on audio cassette tape. We cannot accept formal comments over the telephone as they could be misinterpreted.
š There will always be an officer to help you at Planning Reception, but if you need to speak to a Planning Officer you may need to make an appointment.
š You may also wish to discuss your concern with your Ward Councillor, who may wish to support your objection in writing.
š If you are genuinely unable to come and see the application e.g. you are unwell or infirm, contact the Planning Officer who will be able to send you the plans or visit you.
š We will disregard any objections and comments containing racial abuse or racist views or defamatory comments.
When making decisions on planning applications, the Council can only take into account relevant planning matters.
These include whether:
š The proposed use is a suitable one for the area.
š The appearance and size of the new building is in keeping with the surrounding area.
š The external alterations are in character with the existing property
š Adjoining properties will be overshadowed or overlooked, or will suffer a loss of privacy.
š There will be any increase in noise and disturbance e.g. from extra traffic or other activities (but not associated with the construction works).
š There is adequate car parking.
š The new roads and access are safe for road users and pedestrians.
š Any advertisement would be too brightly lit or out of scale with its surroundings.
š The proposal accords with planning policies contained within the City of Lincoln Local Plan.
š The proposal takes proper account of the effect on established trees which have amenity value within the site.
We cannot take into account:
Ò Loss of your view.
Ò Boundary and other disputes between neighbours.
Ò Loss of trade from individual competing companies.
Ò Loss of value to your property.
Ò Moral objections e.g. to betting shops or amusement arcades.
All relevant comments will be taken into account when reaching a decision on a planning application and will be recorded on the planning application file (which is a public document available for anyone to look at).
Not all applications are considered at Committee. Only those where:
š the application is recommended to be granted and objections have been received
š Councillor asks for the application to be considered at Committee
š the decision is finely balanced
The same criteria will apply to those applications which have a request for someone to speak on them. Therefore a request to speak will not necessarily guarantee that the application is considered at Committee.
2. PROCEDURES AT COMMITTEES
We support public debate about planning applications and allow for the principle that people may be better able to communicate their views if they are not limited to making comments in writing. For those applications considered at Committee, public speaking allows those directly affected by the planning process a chance to have their say.
The remainder of this leaflet answers a number of basic questions about how the system for public speaking at Planning Committee works at the City of Lincoln Council.
Who can speak?
A member of the public or their spokesperson who wishes to object to or support an application will be given an opportunity to do so providing the arrangements set out below are complied with. An applicant or agent appointed to deal with the application will be given the opportunity to reply to an objector’s presentation.
š Public speaking will only be permitted where you are the applicant or agent or your comments have previously been submitted in writing within the consultation period (or in another approved form – see above) and the procedure for registering to speak has been complied with.
š The Democratic Services Officer must be notified by 4pm on the Tuesday immediately preceding the Committee meeting in either writing, e-mail, fax or by telephone. You must leave your name, address, a daytime contact number and details of the application. You must also indicate what your interest in the application is.
š The number of people permitted to speak will be limited to one from each side (i.e. either in objection or support). Where several people wish to speak on an application, the Chair will require that a spokesperson be appointed to represent the issues of the supporters or objectors as the case may be.
š If a member of the public speaks in support of an application or is objecting to an application, the Chair shall allow one member of the public a right to reply even if that member of the public has not given prior notice of their right to speak.
š No member of the public will be permitted to speak for longer than 5 minutes. Those people addressing the Committee will be advised when they have 30 seconds of their allotted five minutes remaining. They will have to cease talking immediately on being advised that the five minutes are up.
š No member of the public shall distribute any photographs or other documentation at the committee meeting or raise any new issues.
If consideration of the application is deferred for any reason members of the public wishing to speak will be able to do so either at the meeting when the proposal is first considered or at the meeting following the deferral, or both.
Any Councillor may speak at Committee on behalf of the community either in support of a proposed development, objecting to it or, indeed setting out both points of view. They may then not be involved in voting for or against the proposal. These speakers will also not be permitted to speak for longer than 5 minutes.
3. ORDER OF BUSINESS
The Chair will open the meeting and invite Councillors to declare if they have an “interest” in any item on the agenda. The order set out in the written agenda will be followed as far as practicable but efforts to accommodate applications with speakers present will be taken.
š The Chair will introduce each item and advise the meeting of the recommendation.
š The Planning Officer will advise the meeting of any new relevant information and then the Chair will invite the speakers (including members) to present their views.
š The Committee will then consider the application and ask questions of the Planning Officer who will be allowed to make concluding remarks.
š The Committee will then vote on any proposition or amendment which is moved and seconded. The Chair will clearly communicate the decision to committee members, members of the public and others present, i.e. the press.
š Members of the Committee will not speak or vote on any matter on which oral representations have been received from or on behalf of the applicant or any member of the public unless they have been present throughout the presentation of all such representations.
To register your intention to speak at committee you must contact the Democratic Services Officer on:
Tel: (01522) 873370
Fax: (01522) 542569
Support officer: Ali Hewson, Democratic Services Officer. (01522 873370)