Do all applications go to Planning Committee?
No. Applications aren’t automatically sent to Committee, unless they are very large or the applicant (or their partner) works at the Council or they are a Councillor. Most applications are decided by a senior planning officer unless an application is ‘called-in’ to Committee.
How does an application get ‘called-in’?
Every ward in the Borough has either one or two local Councillors who can ‘call-in’ (request) an application to be reported to Planning Committee. At the end of each week a list of new applications is sent to the Councillors who then have 21 days to make a call-in request.
We can also accept a call-in from three members of the Planning Committee, even if they aren’t the local Councillors for the area that the planning application is for.
What happens after an application is called in?
The Case Officer will write a report with a recommendation and aim for the first available Committee date. Sometimes the call-in might have been made because of concerns with the application that can be resolved by changing a plan or adding conditions to approvals. On the other hand if an application is recommended for refusal the Councillor may agree with that and no longer want to report the application to Committee. Just before the agenda for the meeting is produced we let the Councillor who called-in the application know what our recommendation is and they can decide if they still want it to be debated at Committee. If they don’t a senior officer will issue the decision notice to the applicant.
If the call-in stands the report will be included in the agenda for the Planning Committee meeting which is published five working days before the meeting takes place. If you wrote to us about the application we’ll let you know when it’s going to Committee. After the Committee have made a decision a senior officer will issue the decision notice to the applicant.