Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Public speaking at DCC's central & area planning committee


How will interested parties find out about the committee date?
A letter will be sent to all those that have made representations on an application, and to the agent/applicant to advise them of the date of the committee meeting.

When do interested parties have to register to speak?
No later than noon on the last working day prior to the committee.

Who do they register to speak with?

Speakers will be required to register with the Planning Services Team dealing with the application.

How do interested parties register to speak?
Requests may be made by telephone, email or letter.

What happens if someone wishes to speak at the meeting but has not registered to do so?
Anyone that turns up to speak but has not registered, or wishes to register after the deadline will not be allowed to address the meeting.

How long would interested parties be allowed to speak for?
Each group of speakers (objectors and supporters) will be allowed to speak for five minutes. If more than one individual wishes to speak the time will be divided.

Would the same procedures apply to all of the committees including the Strategic Planning Applications Committee?
Yes, all of the committees will operate in the same way.

Will there be an opportunity to speak for longer in contentious cases?
This will be at the discretion of the chair and will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances. If additional time is allowed the same amount of time must be made available to the opposing party in the interests of equality.

What will happen if more than one person would like to speak?
Speakers will be encouraged to appoint a spokesperson.

What is the order of speakers?
The Parish/Town Council representative will be invited to speak first followed by the objector(s) and then the applicant or supporters.

Can supporters address the committee where the application is recommended for approval and there are no speakers against the proposal?
Yes, applicants/supporters will be allowed the opportunity to address the committee regardless of the recommendation and whether objectors have registered to speak.

Will the applications on which there are speakers be brought forward to the beginning of the meeting?
Where there is a request to speak applications will be brought forward to the beginning of the meeting in the order on which they appear in the agenda.

Can the speaker ask questions during their presentation?
Although the speakers may ask questions during their presentation there is no obligation on Officers or Members to respond.

Can the committee ask the Speakers questions?
Members of the committee will be allowed to ask the speakers questions to clarify specific points but this is not used as an opportunity to allow further public speaking beyond the prescribed time limits.

Can the speakers circulate material at the meeting?
Photographs can be circulated at the committee however a copy will need to be kept by the Council for the application file. In order to ensure that each member of the committee is able to view that information provided speakers will be required to provide one copy for each member plus four additional copies by noon on the day before the committee.

Can documents be circulated at the meeting?
Speakers at the meeting cannot circulate documents other than a written copy of their presentation.

Can the speakers use the Council’s IT?
Speakers can use the Council’s IT systems however they must ensure that the necessary information is provided by noon on the day before the meeting in order that it can be uploaded onto the Council’s system and its content checked.

Can Speakers address the meeting on items other than Planning applications?
Speakers will be allowed on other matters with the exception of enforcement.

Can an interested party ask for speaking rights on a delegated application?
A request for public speaking will NOT transfer a delegated application to a committee

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