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Planning committee public participation scheme

Planning Committee agenda papers are normally published five working days before the relevant meeting. The papers include a report, together with a recommendation, from officers on each of the planning applications to be considered by the Committee.

For public speaking guidelines on agenda items that are not related to a specific planning application or enforcement item, see general public participation scheme.

Public participation regarding specific planning applications or enforcement agenda items

Any person who has a material planning interest in the outcome of a planning application or enforcement action, and has registered their wish to speak before the start of the meeting, will be allowed to speak at the Council’s Planning Committee on the relevant item.

Requests to speak which are received after the meeting has started will not be allowed.

All current Members of the Council, including co-optees on Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Lake Administration Committee, have been granted a dispensation to make representations under this public participation schemee in circumstances when they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in relation to an agenda item. Such dispensation does not apply to the remainder of the agenda item. They must register to speak before the start of the meeting in the same way as a member of the public.  Upon completing their address the member will be required to leave the chamber for the remainder of the agenda item.

All current Members of the Council, including co-opted members who due to private or ward activities has to declare bias and pre-determination in relation to an agenda item may utilise this public participation scheme and speak on such an agenda item. Such members must register to speak before the start of the meeting in the same way as a member of the public. Upon completing his/her address the member will be required to leave the chamber for the remainder of the agenda item.

Speaking at Planning Committee

Please contact the Committee Services Group to register your intention to speak before the start of the meeting (Please note that usually Planning Committee meetings start at 10am).


Anyone who has registered, or wishes to register, to speak on a specific planning application or enforcement agenda item should try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

You can speak for three minutes.

In order to speak on behalf of a group, the signatures of those other individuals must be provided to Committee Services before the start of the meeting.

The Chairman may refuse an individual’s application to speak if it becomes clear that they would be doubly represented at the meeting.

Any presentation must be limited to planning considerations.

The planning system operates to regulate the use of land in the public interest and not to protect private interests.

The three possible decisions that the Planning Committee can take with regard to planning applications are to approve, refuse or defer.

By law, decisions must be based upon planning considerations, namely:

  • Development Plan policies of the Council (South Lakeland Land Allocations Development Plan Documents, Core Strategy and Local Plan)
  • National Planning Policy Framework and other national government planning guidance
  • other material considerations which must be related to planning

Examples of other material considerations include:

  • loss of privacy
  • overshadowing
  • design
  • highway safety
  • traffic and parking
  • noise from the proposed use
  • incompatible uses
  • scale of development
  • appearance of development
  • wildlife
  • trees
  • flooding and/or the effect on conservation areas and/or listed buildings

Decisions cannot, however, be based upon personal issues with neighbours, loss of private views, business competition, noise or disturbance during building operations, property devaluation, private covenants, boundary disputes and/or the impact of private rights of access.

Please do not make statements of a personal or slanderous nature, be abusive or interrupt other speakers, or the committee, during their debate.

If you are unsure that what you want to say is a planning consideration please contact the Planning Office and a member of staff will be able to advise you.

If you are unable to attend

If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are unable to attend or address the committee then you may appoint someone to speak on your behalf, subject to the approval of the Chairman of the Planning Committee and the relevant authority being provided to the representative.

What happens at the meeting

Requests to speak at Planning Committee are usually taken in the order of the related planning application as it appears on the printed agenda. However, this order can be varied at the discretion of the chairman.

The Chairman will introduce the application and the Planning Officer will provide a brief overview of the item. The speakers will then be invited to address the committee in the following order:-

  • Objectors and supporters (normally in the order in which they registered to speak)
  • Applicant/agent/developer

The Planning Officer will then provide a more detailed report on the planning application/enforcement item before it is debated by the committee.

Circulating documents or photographs at the meeting

Speakers cannot distribute photographs, plans or similar additional material at the meeting. However, if you wish to submit such material, you should contact the relevant Planning Officer by 5pm two working days before the meeting and this can instead be included in the late representations report provided at the meeting to the committee.


Speakers cannot ask committee members or officers questions during the meeting and committee members and officers are not permitted to cross-examine speakers. However, if clarification is needed speakers may be asked questions by the Chairman or, with the permission of the Chairman, a member of the committee.

If an item is deferred

Where an application or enforcement item is deferred (eg for a site visit by the committee), any person, or group, who has already spoken will not be permitted to speak when the matter comes back to the committee, unless the application has been significantly amended. In circumstances where an applicant or group is permitted to speak again on a deferred item, any representations must be confined to those matters which have significantly changed. The relevant Planning Officer can provide clarification on this point.

Occasionally, it may become apparent that the committee will wish to visit the site in question and, in these circumstances, the Chairman will offer speakers at the meeting the opportunity to speak there and then, or to defer their right to speak until the application comes back to the Committee.

Filming at meetings

The use of social media, filming, videoing, photographing or recording of council meetings or other meetings which are open to the public is allowed, subject to the conditions of the protocol governing the use of mobile phones, social media, filming and recording at meetings.

The use of social media in formal meetings is permitted for members of the public, press and councillors, so long as this does not cause any disruption or disturbance. The Chairman’s decision on this point is final.

To minimise disruption to others attending the meeting, all attendees, including councillors, must ensure that their phone and other mobile devices are switched off or set to silent mode during the meeting.