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Protocol for registering to speak and speaking at Planning Committee

Speech bubble with three dots inside

Who can speak at Planning Committee?

Any person directly affected by proposals including applicants, objectors or supporters (or their representatives) may request to speak at Planning Committee.

Ward Councillors whose wards are directly affected by proposals may also request to speak.

Each request will be considered by the Chair prior to the meeting, taking into account whether the proposals directly affect the speakers (or whom they represent) and the number requesting to speak.

What is the maximum amount of speaker and how long can you speak for?

A maximum of three speakers (not including ward councillors) will be allowed to address the Committee on each item. For example, two objectors and one applicant or agent, or one objector, one supporter and one applicant or agent.

Each speaker will be allowed a maximum of three minutes to address the Committee unless the Chair agrees a time extension in exceptional circumstances.

Ward Councillors are advised to speak for no longer than six minutes.

Councillors who speak beyond this time limit may do so at the discretion of the Chair, taking into account the number of other people wishing to speak at the meeting.

What is the order of speakers?

Following the presentation of reports by officers, the order of speakers will be:

  • i) Objectors or supporters
  • ii) Applicants or agents
  • iii) Ward Councillors

Members of the Planning Committee may ask questions of objectors, supporters and applicants / agents but not ward councillors.

This shall take place immediately after each address by a speaker.

Speakers will not be allowed to address the Committee other than in their allocated time or, in the case of objectors, supporters and applicants / agents, to answer questions by Committee members.

Can a speaker address the Committee?

Anyone wishing to speak must give notification to the Council no later than 12 noon, 3 working days prior to the committee meeting together with a short summary of points they wish to make.

Please refer to the City Council's website for guidance on how to give notification of a request to speak using the Planning Application Search.

Please note we cannot facilitate the presentation of photographs or plans from applicants, agents and other third parties during virtual Planning Committee meetings at the present time.  

Who chooses if i can speak at Committee? 

The decision as to whether someone is directly affected by a proposal and should be allowed to speak will be taken by the Chair of the Committee taking into account:

  1. the proximity of the site to those affected
  2. the size and nature of the development and its potential impact such as visual impact, noise and traffic generated
  3. whether the objections or support relate to a perceived potential direct impact on the speakers (or in the case of ward councillors, their wards)
  4. the number of people objecting or supporting who perceive a direct impact.

How will I know if I have been chosen to speak at Committee?

Those who have been accepted to speak will be called the day before the committee meeting (before 5pm) to speak to the moderator to agree terms of joining the virtual Planning Committee meeting via a Skype call.

Before each application is presented to the Members of the Planning Committee by officers, the moderator will call each accepted speaker into the live meeting.

The speakers will be muted on joining the live meeting to prevent interruption and will remain on mute until invited to speak by the Chair of the Planning Committee.

Once a speaker has finished their three minute speech and answered questions from Members the speaker will be removed from the live meeting and will be able to watch the live stream for the decision.

Streaming the live committee meeting on another device must be stopped or paused prior to joining the live meeting via telephone/mobile phone.

Joining the live meeting on the phone and streaming the live meeting on another device simultaneously by the same speaker will cause feedback or interference during the meeting and could result in the speaker being removed from the meeting to prevent further disruption or interference.

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