Speaking at planning meetings
This section is about the planning committee and opportunities to speak at planning meetings.
In certain cases, the council gives people the opportunity to speak to the Planning Committee.
The Planning Committee normally meets once every four weeks on a Wednesday evening starting at 7.30pm. The meetings are held at the Town Hall, Reigate. You can access meeting dates on our online Council meeting diary.
Speaking to the Planning Committee leaflet
You can download the information below in leaflet format, including a map showing how to get to the Town Hall.
When can you speak?
The opportunity to speak is given to objectors to applications that are to be determined by the Planning Committee, that are recommended for permission, and that fall within one or more of the following categories:
- applications for ten or more dwellings
- applications for residential development on sites of 0.5 hectares or more where the number of dwellings is not known
- applications for a building or buildings of 1,000 square metres or more
- applications for development on sites of 1 hectare or more
- applications made by the Borough Council
- applications which have attracted a petition of 50 signatures or more
- applications which have attracted 25 or more letters (not pro-forma) from separate addresses.
If an objector registers to speak on one of these applications, then the applicant or their agent will be notified and given an equal speaking opportunity to respond.
Representatives of the town or parish council, and one residents’ association or amenity society may then also speak.
Speaking is limited to one objector per application, who has registered with the Council prior to the meeting, at the first time of it being presented to Committee.
The opportunity to speak is in addition to the normal practice of making written representations to the Council.
Details of which applications are being considered by the Planning Committee are normally available one week prior to the meeting. Call the Council’s HelpLine on 01737 276000, or check the website.
Register to speak
If you wish to speak you must register in advance of the meeting between the publication of the agenda and no later than 5pm two days prior to the meeting (normally Monday).
Speakers are registered on a first-come, first-served basis by telephoning 01737 276207 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests to speak before the agenda is published will not be registered.
Contact details will be required so that people wanting to speak on the same application can be put in touch to agree a spokesperson. Registered speakers will also be advised of town, parish and/or residents’ associations who wish to speak on the same application.
Order of speaking
Registered speakers should arrive at the Town Hall by 7.00pm prior to the meeting for brief instruction and to familiarise themselves with the committee chamber.
The order of speaking on each item will normally be as follows:
- introduction by planning officer
- public speaker - representative of town or parish council
- public speaker - representative of residents’ association or amenity society
- public speaker - representing objectors
- public speaker - applicant or their agent
- ward members not serving on the Planning Committee
- planning Committee members
- answers to questions by officers
- motion for resolution put by Chairman.
Each public speaker is limited to three minutes.
Public speakers’ own visual aids are not allowed, but plans and photographs for the application will be displayed during the meeting. Once a public speaker has finished there will be no other opportunity to speak to the Committee, nor to ask or answer questions.
You are very welcome to stay and listen to the remainder of the debate.
What should you say?
You should aim to summarise as succinctly as possible your concerns about the application, and those of any other objector who has contacted you.
Remember you have only three minutes, so focus on the main points in your presentation. Your comments should concentrate on relevant planning issues, for example:
- design, appearance and layout
- highway safety and accessibility
- any impact on privacy, light etc.
- any noise and disturbance
- any loss or threat to trees.
You should avoid matters that will not be given weight by the Planning Committee, such as:
- boundary disputes and covenants
- effect on property values
- personal or offensive remarks
- matters covered by other legislation.
Other points to note
When deciding on whether the required number of letters or signatures has been reached, only those received before publication of the Committee’s agenda, or within the period for comments specified in the Council’s original notification letter, will be counted (does not apply to notification of amended plans).
The Chairman has discretion to vary the above procedure subject to ensuring equity is maintained. In any dispute, the Chairman’s ruling will be final.
Last updated : 19/02/2013