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FAQ: Planning & Regulatory

The Planning & Regulatory Comittee

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the Planning and Regulatory Committee?
  2. Who is on the Planning and Regulatory Committee?
  3. Do any of the Planning and Regulatory Committee members live near the site of the proposed application?
  4. Does the Committee meet in public?
  5. What decision can the Committee make on this planning application?
  6. How do the Planning and Regulatory Committee members vote?
  7. Does the Committee's decision need to be unanimous?
  8. Do any Worcestershire County Council Officers get involved?
  9. How does ERM fit in?
  10. Who can speak at the Committee?
  11. What happens if the application is refused?

Answers

  1. Q. What is the Planning & Regulatory Committee?
    A. The Planning and Regulatory Committee deals primarily with planning applications for minerals extraction, waste management-related applications and developments for the County Council's service needs, such as for schools, libraries, park and ride sites and other infrastructure projects. (Top of Page)
  2. Q. Who is on the Planning & Regulatory Committee?
    A. There are 14 democratically elected County Councillors on the Planning and Regulatory Committee. There are ten Conservative Councillors, two Liberal Democrat Councillors, one Labour Councillor and one Independent Community and Health Concern Councillor on the Committee. Decisions at the meetings are taken by the Councillors. They are advised by County Council officers or a consultant planning advisor.

    For the further details of these members, see the Planning and Regulatory Committee pages. (Top of Page)

  3. Q. Do any of the Planning & Regulatory Committee members live near the site of the proposed application?
    A.
    The home addresses of each of the Councillors who sit on the Planning and Regulatory Committee can be seen from the link above. However, regardless of where Councillors live, Committee members are required to consider the planning application based on its planning merits only. (Top of Page)

  4. Q. Does the Committee meet in public?
    A.
    Yes. The Committee meets eight times per year, the dates of which are publicised usually a year in advance: for details, please see the Programme of Meetings. (Top of Page)

  5. Q. What decision can the Committee make on this planning application?
    A.
    There are three possible outcomes:

    • Recommend that planning permission be granted
    • Recommend that planning permission be refused
    • Defer a decision for further information or other reasons.

    However, because this application is a departure from the Development Plan, if the Committee is minded to approve the application then the County Council must consult the Office of Communities and Local Government.

    The council may not grant planning permission until the Government Office has notified the council that is does not intend to call in the application for its own determination.  (Top of Page)

  6. Q. What decision can the Committee make on this planning application?
    A.
    At the end of the discussion about the planning application, the Chairman will put any amendments or motions to the meeting and then ask the Councillors to vote.

    The council officers do not have a vote.

    Often, when an issue affects a particular area, the local County Councillor for that area will have been invited to speak as the local member. This local Councillor is not entitled to vote unless the Councillor is also a member of the Planning and Regulatory Committee.

    The members of the Committee consider planning applications on their planning merits only (Top of Page)

  7. Q. Does the Committee's decision need to be unanimous?
    A.
    No. At the end of the discussion about the report made to the Committee, Councillors will be asked to vote and a decision can be made on the basis of a simple majority. (Top of Page)

  8. Q. Do any Worcestershire County Council Officers get involved?
    A.
    The officers' role is to provide professional advice to the members of the Planning and Regulatory Committee. Officers do not have a vote. (Top of Page)

  9. Q. How do ERM fit in?
    A.
    ERM is acting on behalf of the Waste Planning Authority as the Case Officer, to provide professional advice to the Planning and Regulatory Committee. (Top of Page)

  10. Q. Who can speak at the Committee?
    A.
    The Committee will always consider relevant written comments. These are summarised in the Committee report about the application and are made available in full for members to read before (and at) the meeting. As an additional opportunity for representation, the County Council has arrangements in place which usually allow one speaker each on behalf of objectors, the applicant and any supporters of the application to address the committee.

    These speakers may address the Committee during the meeting, but this opportunity should not be seen as the primary means of stating respective cases.

    Anyone making written representations is invited to indicate in their letter or email whether they would wish to address the Committee if given the opportunity. The Chairman (and/or Vice-Chairman) will consider all of the requests to address the Committee and will select one objector and one supporter directly affected by the proposed development (usually the nearest private individuals).

    The signatory to a planning application will similarly be invited to speak.

    The persons selected will be notified approximately ten days before the meeting. The right to speak can be exercised in person or transferred to another individual. Those selected will be asked to confirm in writing who will be addressing the Committee and to supply an outline text of their presentation by 10am on the working day before the meeting. Unless both of these are done, the right to speak is forfeited.

    Both the outline text and the presentation to the Committee must be confined in scope to the matters referred to in written representations. At the Committee meeting, the Chairman will call speakers in the following order:

    • The Director of Planning, Economy and Performance (or planning advisor)
    • The objector
    • Any supporter of the application
    • The applicant
    • The local County Councillor
    • Members of the Committee

    If speakers are not present at the time that they are called by the Chairman, they will not be allowed to speak even if they are later present at the meeting.

    The objector, any supporter and applicant may speak for three minutes each.

    The Chairman will usually only allow questions to the objector, supporter or applicant from Committee members to clarify what has been said. The objector, supporter and applicant will not be able to ask any questions or to speak again at the meeting.

    Planning officers are available in the meeting room for up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to enable Councillors and the public to ask questions about the applications to be considered. This is not a part of the meeting itself but is an informal opportunity for anyone present on the day to clarify factual details about the applications, examine background documents and view plans that are on display. (Top of Page)

  11. Q. What happens if the application is refused?
    A.
    If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Waste Planning Authority to refuse planning permission or to grant permission subject to conditions, the applicant has a right to appeal to the Secretary of State who will then decide the appeal.

    The applicant must appeal within six months of the date of the decision notice. The decision of the Planning and Regulatory Committee may also be challenged by judicial review on a point of law. (Top of Page)

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This page was last reviewed 29 July 2013 at 11:35.
The page is next due for review 25 January 2015.