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					            Public Speaking at
     Planning Applications Committee

The District Council is committed to public involvement in the planning process.
Members of the public have an opportunity to put their views directly to the Planning
Applications Committee on matters to be decided by the Committee (with certain
exemptions). This document answers some of the most commonly asked questions
about the procedures involved.


Q.    When and where are Committees held?

A.    Meetings are held every four weeks on a Thursday at 2.00 p.m. in the Council
      Chamber, Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek. There are fourteen
      Members of the Committee and site visits are undertaken by the Committee
      on the morning of the meeting. A list of meetings and Members can be
      obtained from the Council Offices and on the Council’s website.


Q.    Who can speak?

A.    The following individuals/groups are eligible to speak:
       Applicants/Agents
       Objectors
       Supporters
       Parish/Town Councillors
       Ward/District /County Councillors


Q.    Is public speaking compulsory?

A.    Speaking at Committee supplements and does not replace written comments.
      Those wishing to speak SHOULD ALWAYS put their views in writing to the
      Development Control Department BEFORE the date of the Committee
      meeting.


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Q.   How many can speak and for how long?

A.   In order to properly manage the Committee meeting and to ensure fairness,
     THERE IS A MAXIMUM OF THREE SPEAKERS FOR AND THREE
     SPEAKERS AGAINST AN APPLICATION plus any District Council/Ward
     Members. A group of people wishing to make similar representations may be
     asked to appoint a spokesperson. THE TIME IS LIMITED TO
     THREE MINUTES EACH.            PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NUMBER OF
     SPACES TO SPEAK WILL BE ALLOCATED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-
     SERVED BASIS. Once the places are filled, you will, if unsuccessful, be
     advised to arrive prior to the commencement of the meeting and identify
     yourself to the Committee Officer, who will introduce you to the appointed
     speakers. You should then consult with the appointed speakers to request
     that they raise any additional points which you would have made when they
     make their presentation. The appointed speaker may decline to do so, in
     which case it is always advisable to ensure that, in any event, you make
     representations in writing before the date of the Committee to the
     Development Control Department.


Q.   How do you arrange to speak at the Committee?

A.   When the agenda has been finalised seven days prior to the meeting, we will
     write to applicants and everyone who has commented in writing on
     applications which are to be considered by the Committee. Please note that if
     applicants have appointed an agent, the agent will be contacted and not the
     applicant.    ANYONE WISHING TO SPEAK SHOULD TELEPHONE
     COMMITTEE SERVICES (TELEPHONE: 01538 395551) BETWEEN
     10.00 A.M. MONDAY AND 4.00 P.M. WEDNESDAY ON THE WEEK OF
     THE MEETING AND SPEAK TO A MEMBER OF STAFF.

     In order to register to speak you will need to provide by telephone:-

        Your name and contact telephone number.
        The reference number or site of the application.
        Whether you are in support of or oppose the application.
        Whether you are a spokesperson for a group of people.


Q.   What may the representation include?

A.   Speakers should only refer to relevant planning issues.

     In addition to Local/Structure Plan Policies and Government Guidance,
     examples of relevant planning issues are:-

      Design, appearance and layout.
      Highway safety, traffic and parking issues.
      Loss of light and privacy or overshadowing.

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      Noise, disturbance, smells.
      Impact on trees, conservation areas, listed buildings, landscape and
       wildlife.
      Residential amenity - the effect on the area or street.
      Drainage.
      Pollution and contamination issues.
     The Committee cannot take into account non-planning issues

     The following is a list of examples of non-planning issues:-

        Restrictive covenants.
        Boundary disputes/property rights.
        Personal comments about any individual or company.
        Loss of property value or loss of view.
        Matters covered by other laws.
        Trade competition.


Q.   When are Committee Agendas available?

A.   Agendas with written reports for all items may be viewed seven days before
     the meeting at the Council Offices in Biddulph, Cheadle and Leek and on the
     Council’s website. Only a limited number of Agendas setting out the order of
     business will be available at the meeting.
     TO ENSURE YOU HAVE A COPY FOR THE MEETING, IT MAY BE
     ADVISABLE TO PRINT A COPY FROM THE INTERNET.


Q.   What is the order of business and speaking at Committee?

A.   Applications will be considered in the order in which they appear on the
     Agenda unless the Chair decides otherwise. The order for speaking is as
     follows:-

      Announcement of the item by the Chair.
      List of speakers announced by the Committee Officer.
      Speakers invited to move into the Council Chamber.
      Objectors' representations taken first.
      Followed by Applicants/Supporters' representations.
      Introduction/update by the Planning Officer.
      Debate by Members of the Committee.
      The Planning Officer/Legal Representative will respond to any issues
       raised.
      Members vote on the application.
      The decision is announced by the Chair.
     Speakers remain seated in the Council Chamber throughout.


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Q.   What are the possible outcomes of the meeting?

A.   The decision may be to approve or refuse the application or, in some cases,
     to defer it for further information/negotiation.


Q.   Are there any other procedural points speakers need to be
     aware of?

A.   Speakers should note the following important points:-

      All speakers should arrive by 1.45 p.m. in the Public Gallery and notify the
        Committee Officer of your arrival.

      It is not possible to give a precise time when an item may be discussed
        and if you do not arrive in time, the Committee will determine the
        application without your involvement.

      In the event of a delayed return by the Committee following the site
        inspections, the start time of the Committee may be delayed.

      When invited by the Chair, the speakers should move into the Council
        Chamber and will be shown where to sit on arrival.

      Speakers need to use the fixed microphone system when speaking and
        will be shown this on arrival. Please stay seated for your presentation.

      The three minutes will be timed and speakers advised when their time has
        expired.

      Where the Committee considers a deferred item, public speaking will be
        permitted (including by those who spoke on the original matter) where new
        evidence or information is under consideration. Previous speakers,
        however, will not be permitted to restate evidence given at the
        consideration of the original matter.

      Speakers may be asked questions by Members or Officers and speakers
        may raise a point of clarification, with the consent of the Chair, if a
        misunderstanding on a part of their representation has occurred.
        Otherwise speakers will not be allowed to interrupt Members' discussion.

      Speakers should return quietly to the Public Gallery once the decision has
        been made.

      A Late Representation Report will be prepared by the Development
        Control Department and circulated at the meeting, i.e. contains any
        representations received since the agenda was despatched. Please read
        a copy of this before the meeting starts.

      Presentation aids by speakers (e.g. slides, videos, etc.) are not permitted.

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 Circulation of supporting documents at the meeting is not permitted.
   However, should you have any additional information to be considered by
   Committee, then this should be submitted to the Development Control
   Department by 4.00 p.m. the day prior to the meeting in order that it
   may be included in the Late Representation Report.

 Mobile phones/pagers should be switched off throughout.
 The Chair may exclude public speaking on a matter which has been the
   subject of public participation at an earlier meeting.

 If you wish a District Councillor to represent your views at the Committee
   it is advisable to contact a Councillor who is not on the Committee.

 On rare occasions speakers may arrive at Committee to be advised that
   they cannot speak because the application has been deferred to the next
   meeting or withdrawn by the applicant. Regrettably this is unavoidable.

 Please note that the meeting may be filmed for live and subsequent
   broadcast via the Council’s internet site. If this is the case, the Chair will
   confirm at the start of the meeting whether all or part of the meeting is to
   be filmed. By entering the meeting room, you are consenting to being
   filmed. The images and sound recording may be used for training
   purposes within the Council.



PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE CHAIR'S RULING IS FINAL.




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  Opening Hours:

  Leek:            Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek, ST13 6HQ.
                   (Tel: 01538 483483) (Fax: 01538 483474)

                   Monday - Thursday:                            8.45 a.m. to 5.15 p.m.
                   Friday:                                       8.45 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.



  Cheadle:         15A/17 High Street, Cheadle, ST10 1AA.
                   (Tel: 01538 483860)

                   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:         9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
                   Wednesday:                                   10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
                   Saturday:                                     9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.



  Biddulph:        Town Hall, High Street, Biddulph, ST8 6AR.
                   (Tel: 01782 297836)

                   Monday - Thursday:                            9.00 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.
                   Friday:                                       9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
                   Saturday:                                     9.00 a.m. to 12.00 Noon



  E-mail:          committee.services@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk
  Web:             www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk




                                  www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk

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                                     January 2008 – Version 6




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