When a planning application is submitted to a Local Authority, there are normally two ways in which it will be determined. The vast majority of planning applications are dealt with under Delegated Authority, which usually involves the case officer preparing a report which is then signed off by a senior member of the Development Control Team (usually the DC Manager).
Those which are more complex in nature, such as large-scale developments, or those which have proven particularly controversial will usually be determined by the Planning Committee. The process at each Authority varies, but in the main it incorporates the preparation of a report by the case officer, followed by a presentation to the Committee. The Elected Members who sit on the Planning Committee then debate the planning merits of the case and raise any queries they may have with the Planning Officer. They then take a vote on whether to approve or refuse the application.
As part of the Committee process most Authorities permit public speaking in one form or another. This enables applicants (or their agents) to put forward the case for approval direct to the Committee. Likewise, it also provides a forum for objectors to make their representations heard by those making the decision.
Rob Duncan Planning Consultancy has extensive experience of Planning Committee’s, providing verbal representations both in favour of schemes, and also against them. If you have a parcel of land you wish to develop, or are considering your options, or perhaps you wish to object to a current application, then please get in touch for some free initial advice.