The Planning Committee deals with approximately 15% of applications.
The remaining applications are determined by the Planning Manager under what are called delegated powers.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the Planning Committee meetings, where you are invited to speak directly to the committee (if you wish) on planning applications which you feel will affect you.
If you would like more information regarding which Members sit on this Committee or you would like to see the agenda/minutes for Planning Committee, please visit our Committee pages.
In these pages you will find out about:
- What happens at the meeting
- Who’s on the Committee
- Where and when it meets
- How to arrange to speak at the Committee
- What’s on the next Committee agenda
- What happened at the meetings
Attending the Committee
If you decide to attend the Planning Committee, a copy of the agenda is available online (approximately one week before the meeting) and hard copies are available from the Usher in the Committee room on the day of the meeting.
Some decisions on applications are deferred so that further information can be obtained by the Committee such as a site visit, before making a decision on an application.
When and where is Committee Held?
Planning Committee generally meets every 4 weeks, on a Monday starting at 09.30am in the Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham.
How can I find out when an application will be considered by committee?
Very broadly, applications are considered by Planning Committee if:
- The application is called in by a District Councillor and the Chairman agrees, or
- The proposal is of large scale, or
- The proposal conflicts with planning policy but there are other planning reasons to support
Otherwise, the decision is likely to be made by the officers under delegated powers and there is no right to speak on these matters.
NB: A new officer delegation agreement came into force on 1st September 2006. For more information, see the following link: Delegation Agreement.
Applicants or their agent and the Parish Council (to which the application site relates) are informed by letter of the date of the relevant Planning Committee.
If you wish to speak at the meeting it is important to check whether an application is included in the agenda. The agenda, which includes full details of the proposals together with officers’ assessments and recommendations, is published on our website www.breckland.gov.uk ten days before the meeting.
The agenda is also available to view at the Council Offices and local libraries. Alternatively you can contact the Planning Technicians for further information.
Who can speak at the meeting?
Note: Objectors and supporters are advised wherever possible to have a single spokesperson for the relevant group as there is a time limit on speaking.
How do I arrange to speak at the meeting?
- In writing, addressed to the Usher, well in advance of the meeting, and to arrive no later than Friday before the Planning Committee meeting. Please include a contact number where possible as applications are sometimes deferred or withdrawn from the Committee and confirm your interest in the application e.g. applicant, objector, representative of parish council.
- By telephoning or e-mailing the Usher before 4 pm on the Friday before the Planning Committee meeting. Please include a contact number or full e-mail address and confirm your interest in the application (see above).
The list of speakers for the meeting will close at 4 pm on the Friday before the meeting. Anyone informing the Usher of their intention to speak after that time and/or on the morning of the meeting will only be registered in exceptional circumstances and with the Chairman's approval. Please arrive and report to the Usher by 9.15 am on the day as the meeting will commence at 9.30 am. If you have any other queries, please contact the Usher.
When and for how long can I speak?
A number of applications and reports are considered at the Planning Committee meetings. Applications on which people wish to speak will generally be brought forward in the agenda.
Priority is given to items where a District Councillor is intending to speak. Each speaker will be given a maximum of 3 minutes or in the case of more than one objector or supporter wishing to speak, 3 minutes for each relevant group. The time will be allocated to a spokesperson or shared between all speakers for each group. Where an applicant and their agent intend to speak the 3 minutes is split between the 2.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to give an exact time when an application will be heard. You should be prepared to be at the meeting for the majority of the day.
What can I say at the meeting?
Please try to be brief and to the point. Limit your comments to the application and relevant planning issues, for example:
- Planning policy (Government guidance and Local Plans)
- Design, appearance, layout and effect on nearby property
- Noise disturbance, smell and residential amenity
- Highway safety and traffic issues
- Impact on trees, conservation areas, listed buildings or nature conservation.
Note: There are issues which are not relevant to planning. We would wish to hear all your views but some may not be able to be taken into account by Committee when the decision is made.
Can I use illustrative material to make my point?
Yes you can bring maps, plans or photographs which can be shown to Committee by the officers as part of your presentation.
Order of Presentation at the Meeting
The top table consists of The Chairman, the Principal Planner (Capita Symonds), the Principal Planner - Major Projects (Capita Symonds), the Planning Manager (Breckland Council and South Holland District Council), the Business Manager (Capita Symonds) and Breckland Council’s Solicitor. The Committee Clerk is also in attendance. The Chairman and the remainder of the Committee are elected members.
The Chairman will announce the particular item to be heard and the planning officer will present the report based on the agenda item, which will be available for you to read. The Chairman will then invite each speaker to address the Committee. The order of speakers is generally: Ward Representatives – Supporters – Objectors – Parish/Town Council – Applicant/Agent. The Ward Representative may also speak at the end. You may stand or sit and any photographs or documents you bring along can be displayed on the screen. You have up to three minutes to put your points, subject to the restraints outlined above, and if you are happy to answer questions it may be helpful. When all the speakers have been heard, there will be a discussion amongst the members and a decision will be made. When the particular item you have an interest in has been heard, you may leave the meeting. If you have any further queries on the day, please speak to the usher.
Are decisions taken at the meeting?
Most applications will be determined at the Committee. Occasionally a decision may be deferred for further information or a site visit. You have the right to speak at the meeting when the application is re-considered. Contact the Development Control Team to check when the matter will be referred to Committee and let the usher know if you will be attending.
Do I have to attend the meeting to make my comments known to Committee?
No you can:
- Put your comments in writing. Whilst the full text of any letters received in connection with a planning application is not relayed to Committee members, any issues and concerns will be included in the assessment and/or referred to in the officer’s presentation.
- Ask your District Councillor to speak for you.
- If the officer’s recommendation is the same as your view, you may decide not to attend and speak. However, the officer recommendation is not always agreed by Committee.
Who to Contact
General Planning Telephone No. 01362 656873