Consultation Draft Statement of Community Involvement 2018

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8. Determination of a planning application

8.1 The receipt of one or more letters of objection will normally result in a major application being determined by committee if it is being recommended for approval or if it is subject to a S106 Agreement.

8.2 In the case of all other applications a decision will be made under delegated powers by the Planning Service unless that application has been subject to a 'call-in' by a Councillor. A 'call-in' is subject to a formal process and for it to be triggered automatically a councillor must make a valid request within 25 days of being notified of the application. Anyone can approach their councillor to have an application 'called-in' and thereby determined by the Planning Committee after public debate. It is important to note however that a councillor is not duty bound to request a 'call-in' if asked and should only do so if a material planning consideration is involved and public scrutiny is appropriate. Where an application is being reported to Committee a list of the different material planning considerations raised within the various comments received are summarised in the Committee report. Letters will not be accepted after 5pm on the day before Committee. Once the agenda has been prepared, anything received before 5pm on the day falling 2 days before the day of the committee meeting will be reported on an amendment sheet. Anything received after 5pm on the day falling 2 days before the day of the committee meeting will be reported verbally.

8.3 If an application is to be reported to committee this will be stated on the Council's online planning website. The full committee report is available 5 working days before the meeting on the website and in all council offices. Where an application has been subject to a valid 'call-in', the applicant and any person making an electronic submission via the Council's on-line planning web-site will be notified via e-mail of the relevant Committee date, 5 days prior to the meeting.

8.4 Public speaking is allowed at the committee comprising one representative speaking against an application and one speaking in support of a proposal. Each speaker is permitted to address the committee for up to 3 minutes. At the Chairman's discretion, and where prior notification has been given, further objectors will be allowed to speak on particularly complex or controversial applications. Usually this will be with a maximum number of 3 speakers for and 3 speakers against any application. Objectors are invited to view the application on-line to obtain a full list of objectors' comments to enable them to co-ordinate a reply in the event that more than one person wishes to speak. Ward Members may also speak on behalf of their electorate and will be allowed up to 5 minutes. Other Councillors will also be permitted to speak at the discretion of the Chair having regard to the strategic significance of the proposal and whether it raises matters of Borough wide interest. When a decision is reached, the website will state whether the application has been approved or refused and hold a full copy of the decision and approved drawings.

8.5 Further details on how to comment on planning applications at the Planning Committee can be found in our document 'Have your Say on Planning Applications' which is available on the website. Other relevant information includes "Planning Procedures Code of Practice" which is in Part 5 of The Constitution and is on the Council's website. It sets out general guidelines for borough councillors and council officers who are involved in planning applications and the Planning Committee. The information it contains may help provide background information to applicants and those commenting on the planning process. The Localism Act clarifies the ways in which councillors can be involved in the planning process and play an active part in local discussions.

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