What is Planning Committee?
The members of a committee consist of 10 councillors, including a chair, who are all drawn from different political parties and wards. The councillors are appointed by residents at the annual general meeting.
There are three planning committees: A, B and C. Committee meetings take place every two weeks and meetings are held in the Town Hall Civic Suite.
Strategic planning committee meetings are held every four weeks to consider major applications which could impact upon the borough.
When would an application be referred to planning committee?
When three or more objections or petitions are received, or if an objection is received from an amenity society (Blackheath Society, Telegraph Hill Society etc.), then the application will automatically be referred to planning committee.
How are objectors/supporters informed about planning committee?
Anyone who submits a letter of objection or support is automatically sent an email confirming that their comments have been received. Once a committee date has been set all those who have commented on an application are sent an invitation to the committee meeting at least five days before the date of the committee. The agenda is published one week before the committee meeting.
How are decisions made at committee meetings?
A planning officer will present the application to the members and the public. Following this the agent/applicant will be invited to speak for five minutes and then the objector will be allowed to speak for five minutes.
As only one objector is allowed to speak, it will need to be decided prior to the meeting who will be presenting to the committee. Questions may be asked by members to the presenting planning officer, the applicant and the objector.
Councillors who are not members of the committee are allowed to speak but can only speak under standing orders and they will not be able to vote or influence the decision in any capacity.
Members then discuss whether planning permission should be granted. If the members are not able to make a decision then the application may be deferred to the next planning committee.