Some applications, usually major or particularly complex schemes, but also minor and household applications that receive five objections or more, will be heard at Planning and Development Committee, which usually sits on a three week cycle. In these cases the planning officer makes a recommendation to the Committee but it is the Committee vote that makes the final decision.
The Committee deals with
- Most major applications
- Applications with 5 or more objections
- Applications referred by Council Members
- Applications the Head of Development and Public Protection considers should be heard at Committee
It has been the practice of Gateshead Council for some time to agree to hear representations by applicants and other interested parties concerning planning applications at the meetings of the Planning and Development Committee. There is no statutory right to speak at the Committee but the Council likes to be inclusive in its decision making and have set out a protocol for speaking set out in our “Having Your Say” leaflet, which is available on this website, by post or at our reception at the Civic Centre.
The committee includes representation from every ward in the borough. If you wish to discuss a planning issue with a ward councillor and you may wish representation you should contact the two ward members who are not on the Planning and Development Committee. More information about Committee.
What happens at Planning and Development Committee?
The Committee meeting is governed by the Chair who is supported by the Vice Chair and the members of the Committee. The Chair sits with officers to support him, including the Democratic Services Officer, Development Law Manager, Head of Development and Public Protection and the Development Manager.
There is an area for the public and interested parties to sit, an area for the Committee members and an area for other supporting officers and the press.
At the beginning of the meeting Members will agree the minutes of the previous meeting and normally declare any interests in relation to the Committee business of the day, they may also choose to declare interests when a particular item is about to be discussed.
The Chairman will ask the Development Manager (or other appropriate officer) to introduce each application which will include key photographs and plans and then give an opportunity for members of the Committee to ask questions of the officer. Any ward councillors who have requested to do so in writing will then be allowed to speak followed by spokesperson(s) (maximum of two raising separate issues) opposed to the application and then the applicant/agent and/or supporter (maximum of two raising separate issues) will be allowed to speak in support. After each speaker presents members of the Committee may ask questions of that speaker. All speakers must have written to the Council to confirm their intention to speak beforehand (by 5pm of the Thursday prior to the Wednesday meeting).
Each speaker opposed to the application will be allowed four minutes to speak. The applicant/agent and any supporter of the application are also granted four minutes. Where the applicant/agent is the only speaker in favour of the application, they are allowed the same speaking time as the cumulative total of the speakers against the application. For example if two speakers are against the application and speak for four minutes each then the applicant/agent can speak for eight minutes.
Finally, the Committee will discuss the proposal and a member will move a recommendation (which needs to be seconded) and a vote will be taken. The Committee vote will be the decision taken.
The decision will normally be to grant permission, refuse permission or defer their decision for either a Committee site inspection or some other reason such as members consider that additional information is required.
What happens after the Committee?
When the Committee has decided the application you can either remain in the meeting if you are interested in any other applications or leave.
Formal written notification of the decision will be sent to any interested person who has written a representation letter on the application a few days later.
If permission has been granted there will normally be the need to discharge planning conditions if you are the applicant. This is done through the delegated powers of the Head of Development and Public Protection unless Committee members wish a specific condition (or conditions) to come back before Committee for their decision.
If permission is refused then the applicant may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate or seek to amend their proposal to overcome the reasons for refusal by submitting with a new planning application (or both).
If the matter is deferred for a Planning and Development Committee site visit, members will normally determine the application at the next meeting following that visit. The visit is simply a fact finding mission to allow members to view the site. Members will not debate or consider the application on the site visit but will get to see the issues raised on site.
As well as the report of planning applications, current enforcement, appeal and section 106 agreements are also reported to members at the meeting, as well as any legislative updates or key information. Every year a members training programme is timetabled so the Committee is kept up to date with planning matters.
Following the Planning and Development Committee, Democratic Services produce the minutes which are available publicly and will be presented to members at the next meeting for their agreement.
Committee dates and times (10am unless stated)
- 20 April 2016 (6pm)
- 11 May 2016
- 1 June 2016
- 22 June 2016 (please note this Committee was previously scheduled at 6pm but will now take place at 10am)
- 13 July 2016
- 3 August 2016
- 24 August 2016
- 14 September 2016
- 5 October 2016 (6pm)
- 26 October 2016
- 16 November 2016 (6pm)
- 7 December 2016
- 4 January 2017
- 25 January 2017
- 15 February 2017
- 8 March 2017
- 29 March 2017 (6pm)
- 19 April 2017
- 10 May 2017
Committee agendas and minutes
Committee agendas including planning application reports are available in paper format 5 days prior to the committee meetings (contact Karen Robson on 0191 433 2129).
An online version (which includes minutes of the previous meeting) is available 3 days prior to the committee meetings here: Council papers