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Planning committees meetings and reports

Find out about planning committee meetings, see agendas and find out how to watch or speak at a committee meeting.

Hints and tips for speaking

  • Remember that any written comments previously submitted are already available to the committee. 
  • Use the time to focus on 2 or 3 compelling issues which might inform the committee's decision making. 
  • Focus on issues that the committee can take into account (see below for a guide). 
  • Write down what to say and practice how long it takes - at the committee meeting it will normally take slightly longer, so take this into account. 
  • Do not waste time thanking the committee or on introducing speakers and their backgrounds – it will reduce speaking time. 
  • If speaking in support of an application, the committee will find it helpful to address the concerns of objectors. 

What you can speak about 

Factors that can be taken into account to decide on planning applications are known as 'material planning considerations'. They might include: 

  • council planning policy and central government advice in the National Planning Policy Framework on 
  • land use suitability 
  • overlooking or sense of enclosure resulting from a building or structure 
  • loss of light or overshadowing 
  • parking 
  • traffic 
  • nuisance caused by noise disturbance or smells from a completed development 
  • effect on listed building and conservation area 
  • layout and density of buildings 
  • design appearance and materials 
  • disabled persons access 
  • nature conservation, including effects on trees 
  • meeting housing needs, including affordable housing levels 
  • town and local centre vitality 
  • environmental quality 

Generally, planning decisions weigh up all the relevant material considerations, apply the level of importance to each factor and assess the cumulative impacts. The list above does not indicate the extent of an issue, eg the major or minor degree of overlooking and that will be highly relevant to decision making. 

What cannot be taken into account 

  • disagreements between neighbours about boundary lines or access 
  • landlord and tenant disputes 
  • detailed construction issues which should be addressed through the Party Wall Act or other legislation 
  • loss of a private view 
  • the applicant’s morals or motives 
  • affect on property value or easements, including rights to light 

Published: 16 December 2020

Last updated: 29 August 2023