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Purbeck Planning Committee and Public Speaking

Find guidance about public speaking at the Planning Committee and what happens at the committee meetings.

The Committee consists of 11 District Councillors and meets on the last Wednesday of each month, normally starting at 9.15am.

View details of Committee members and meeting dates.

The case officer will write a report with a recommendation for the planning committee to consider. The report will contain a summary of the key planning issues of the application and the relevant points raised by consultees and local residents. Information and comments received after the report has been finished will be reported to the committee verbally at the meeting.

The planning committee will decide whether permission is granted or refused, but may occasionally defer consideration of the application to visit the site or request further information. The application will then be presented at the next planning committee meeting.

The planning committee reports are available to view after 4pm on the Tuesday, one week prior to being presented. They can also be inspected at the council offices.

Public Speaking at Planning Committee

The opportunity to speak at the planning committee is offered to all who have commented on a planning application, the Parish or Town Council and the applicant or their representative. When the planning committee date for the application has been decided, those eligible to speak will be formally invited by letter with the appropriate details. You will need to register before 12 noon the Monday before the committee meeting (Tuesday if a Bank Holiday) in order to speak.  If you have not commented on the application and wish to speak, you must also register before the deadline.

What happens at the Planning Committee

You (or someone speaking on your behalf) may speak for three minutes at the planning committee. The case officer will present the application and public speaking will then follow. If you wish to speak, you will be asked to address the committee from your seat in the Council chamber. You will not be able to raise questions or engage in debate with any of the other speakers, councillors or officers. You cannot use or distribute photographs, maps, plans, videos or other recorded images or sounds. 

If you are the applicant/agent and there is more than one objector, you will be allowed an additional half a minute for every additional objector, up to a maximum of ten minutes.

The order of speaking will be individuals that have commented, amenity groups, parish/town council and then the applicant or agent.  If a councillor who is not on the planning committee wishes to address the committee, they will be allowed 5 minutes to do so.

Councillors will then debate and consider the application before making a decision.  

Guidance for speakers

Your representations should be confined to planning issues which the planning committee can take into account such as;

  • traffic generation
  • over-looking
  • loss of trees
  • the scale of development
  • design, or impact on the character of the area

The committee cannot take into account issues such as;

  • covenants on land
  • loss of value of a property
  • loss of a private view
  • neighbour's or applicant's behaviour

Exceptional circumstances

In some instances, if the council receives a very large number of representations on a particular planning application, alternative arrangements may need to be made.  In this instance the chair of the planning committee and the general manager will agree an appropriate approach to ensure fairness to all those wishing to speak.  If this happens, we will write to you to explain the arrangements for that particular application. 

Thinking about speaking at the Planning Committee?

If you have any further questions about speaking at planning committee, or if you require any special accessibility adaptations, please contact Development Management Technical Support.

Complaining to the council

The council aims to give the best possible service to its customers in a helpful, courteous and efficient manner. If you think the council has not given the matter proper attention or you feel it has been mishandled, there is a formal complaints procedure that is both confidential and impartial to help resolve issues. 

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