The changes to public speaking at planning (Development Management Committee, DMC) meetings are due to come into force in time for the 21 October DMC meeting.
It is proposed that the changes will be trialled for one year.
The changes aim to shorten the overlong meetings currently happening as a result of the many contentious planning applications which need to be addressed by DMC.
Those who want to speak either to object or support a proposal at DMC will need to get themselves organised. On major applications, a maximum of 5 objectors and 5 supporters may speak for up to 3 minutes, in addition to one member of the Parish or Town Council and their District Councillor (ward member).
Speakers need to register on line 3 working days before the meeting and will be allowed to speak on a first-come, first-served basis.
EDDC will be updating the website to reflect the changes, but they are outlined below:
The following changes to the arrangements for speaking by the public be trialled for one year:
(a) Introduction of pre-registration of all public wishing to speak at Development Management Committee on planning applications so that the public (meaning those who have submitted written comment on an application prior to agenda publication) are required to register, with Democratic Services, their wish to speak on an item 3 or more working days before the meeting.
(b) We will welcome speakers but, due to time constraints the number of speakers is to be limited to:
Parish/Town Council representative, up to 2 objectors, up to 2 supporters, applicant or agent, Ward Member(s)on minor applications
Parish/Town Council representative up to 5 objectors, up to 5 supporters, applicant or agent, Ward Member(s) on major applications
Speakers will be registered on a first come, first served basis. Registered speakers will be advised that their contact details, unless they tell Democratic Services otherwise, will be posted on the Council’s website to allow others, who may have wished to speak, to contact them. Speaking by the public to remain limited to 3 minutes per contribution and 5 minutes for Ward Member(s).
(c) Planning applications to be numerically ordered on the published agenda, with a revised order to be published by 12 noon the day before the meeting prioritising applications on which people have registered to speak (all items where there are registered speakers to be taken before items where there are no registered public wishing to speak. Where there are registered speakers for major applications these be taken first.)
(d) Non-committee members be allowed to speak on Part A non-planning applications, limited to 3 minutes per contribution
(e) A maximum of two speakers from the public (to register 3 or more working days in advance of the meeting) to be permitted on non-planning application items on which DMC is making a decision (this does not include items where a recommendation will be made to Council, items for information or items responding to government guidance). To be made clear on the agenda the items on which the public can register to speak.
(f) In respect of planning applications, to hear from adjacent Ward Members or other non-committee members if there is time and subject to Chairman’s discretion.