Chris Black and Ron Oatham have proposed that the District Council allows the public to speak at the council’s planning meetings. This will now be discussed at the council meeting on July 29th. The idea is that any person who has previously written to the council about a particular planning application might be allowed to speak. To prevent meetings going on until really late, there would be a maximum of two speakers for an application and a maximum of two against. Each of these people could make a two-minute statement.
We feel that allowing public speaking would be make things fairer all round, and would be useful for councillors – for example we sometimes sit in meetings wishing we could hear directly from someone who lives next door to a planning application site, to find out what they are really concerned about.
There’s certainly time to allow the public to speak, as planning agendas are much shorter these days. This months meeting for example has only 5 applications, compared with the past when we might have 20 or 30 applications in one night.