Public Speaking at Planning Committee
Winchester City Council is the local planning authority for the Winchester district and part of the Winchester district which lies outside the South Downs National Park and is responsible for determining planning applications in this area. There's a lot of public speaking at the Planning Committee and we've put together a list of common questions and the answers to those to help you prepare and to outline the process.
Point of contact and making arrangements
The Public Speaking Co-ordinator acts as a single point of contact and liaison throughout the process, including attendance at Planning Committee meetings to explain procedure. The public speaking co-ordinator can be contacted on 01962 848 339.
Where? Meetings are held at the Guildhall, Winchester, unless otherwise stated.
When? Please contact the Public Speaking Co-ordinator for dates of future meetings. Dates of meetings are also published on the Internet here.
Who can speak?
- Members of the public
- Parish council representatives
- Ward members (local Councillors) and relevant Cabinet Members
There are some cases where you cannot speak, as set out below under the heading 'Are there any situations where I can not speak'. If you have any queries please call 01962 848 339.
How do I make my views known?
Meetings of the Planning Committee are usually held on a Wednesday. To speak you will need to contact the Public Speaking Co-ordinator by 4.30pm 5 working days before the date of the Committee meeting. Please confirm with the Co-ordinator the time and date of the meetings.
Members of the public can speak in support or objection to an item, and Parish Council representatives can also speak. A three minute period is allowed for public speaking for each party in total, i.e. three minutes for objectors, three minutes for supporters and a separate 3 minutes for the Parish Council. Ward Members and relevant Cabinet Members can speak for a five minute period each.
The public speaking co-ordinator's number is 01962 848339.
Are there any situations where I can't speak?
It will not be possible to speak on the following:
- Items marked on the agenda as deferred (as these applications are in the process of negotiation between the Planning Officers and the applicant).
- Items marked on the agenda for referral to a Sub-Committee.
How do I find out if an item is going to be discussed or what the recommendation is?
Agendas and Decision Notices are also published on the internet here.
Copies of the agenda are available to be read at the Council Offices in Colebrook Street, Winchester, at least five working days before the meeting.
The Council publish all applications online via its public access system, which enables you to view details of planning application.
By ringing the Public Speaking Co-ordinator on (01962) 848 339. In some instances it will not be known if items are being referred to Committee until two weeks before the Committee date.
The order of speakers
2. Parish Council Representatives
3. Ward Members/Cabinet Members
How long can I speak for?
Public speaking is limited to three minutes in total in support of the application, three minutes in total from those opposed and three minutes in total for the Parish Council. Ward Members and Cabinet Members have up to five minutes each. This limit also applies where two or more related applications are being considered, including those for Listed Building Applications.
Where more than one speaker wishes to speak on the same issue, speakers will be assisted by the Public Speaking Co-ordinator in advance to organise themselves so that only one person addresses the Committee on their behalf. If this cannot be achieved the speakers will have to the share the three minutes equally.
You may therefore wish to appoint a spokesperson to represent a group of people with the same comments.
Comments should be restricted to relevant planning considerations only, a list of which is set out at the end of this leaflet.
Presentation of plans, photographs and diagrams
If you are registering to speak and wish to illustrate your presentation with visual aids for example photographs, these will need to be received by the Public Speaking Co-ordinator when the public speaking lines close. The visual aids will need to be verified by the case officer as being accurate and relevant. Please email your visual aids to email@example.com. Please let the Public Speaking Co-ordinator know that you wish to rely on visual aids during your presentation. .
The provision of written handouts/photographs to Members of the public/applicants/other parties will not be allowed at the meeting. However these can be circulated by post or email. In order to allow Members of the Planning Committee time to review any material please ensure they are circulated three clear working days before the meeting (which is the same as the close of the public speaking lines).
Do I have to attend?
No. Your written objection is placed on file and the number of responses and main points are summarised in the Officer’s written report.
The meeting is audio broadcast live and you can listen in to the meeting, via a link on the specific committee date available via this link: Browse meetings - Planning Committee - Winchester City Council
A recording of the meeting will be available on you tube via the link below, after the meeting. You can watch all our videos here.
Can someone else speak on my behalf?
Yes. You could ask a friend, relative or professional adviser to speak for you.
The Planning Protocol
Planning is a quasi-judicial process and the Council has adopted a local protocol on planning probity issues. Councillors on the Committee are not able to discuss their voting intentions with the public on applications. The full protocol is part of the Council’s Constitution and may be viewed here.
The Chairman retains discretion
The Chairman decides whether to allow members of the public to speak. After each public speaker, Committee Members may ask factual questions of the speaker.
Disabled access is available. Please contact the Public Speaking Co-coordinator in advance so that any necessary arrangements can be made.
What happens after the committee meeting
The applicant or agent will be sent the decision notice. Objectors and supporters will be able to review the decision via the Councils public access site. Where an application has been refused or approved subject to conditions, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate, either against the refusal or against a particular condition. Where an application has been granted there is no opportunity for objectors to appeal (other than to the Court by way of judicial review on a point of law).
What are some of the relevant issues in considering proposals?
- Local Plan policy
- National government Guidance
- Case law and previous decisions
- The effect on the enjoyment of neighbouring properties
- Design and appearance of layout
- Conservation matters – in terms of the historic environment, trees and wildlife
- Highway safety and traffic.
What issues are irrelevant in reaching planning decisions?
- Matters covered by other laws, e.g. alcohol licences
- Private property rights (e.g. boundaries or access disputes)
- The developers motives
- Possible future development
- Loss of view over other peoples land
- The effect on the value of the property.
If you have any particular needs which affect how you are able to use or be involved in our services or how you would like to receive information for example translation, interpreters, Braille, audio tape, large print, sign language – please contact Customer Service Centre either by telephone: 01962 848 222 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org