Agenda item

To note the minutes of the Planning Applications Sub-Committee meeting held on 9 April 2024*


The Committee received the public minutes of the meeting held on 9 April 2024.


Natasha Lloyd-Owen stated that she attended the meeting but was not on the list of attendees. An Officer stated the minutes would be amended accordingly.




The Inclusion Of Representations In Agenda Packs

A Member stated that there was a suggestion under Minute 8 that the approach taken to the inclusion of representations in agenda packs should be raised as a matter of policy at a meeting of the Grand Committee.  She asked for clarity on the approach taken as well as the approach to be taken forward. She also asked which documents were required to be included by law and which were optional. She asked if all representations and environmental statements could be included.


The Deputy Chairman, who was in the Chair at the meeting on 9 April 2024 stated that the Officer summaries were useful and helped Members to navigate the documents. He suggested that if all responses were to be included, this should be in a separate pack.


The Chairman stated that for Planning Applications Sub-Committee after the 9 April meeting, Officers had included all representations.


The Director of Planning and Development stated that all representations could be included. He added that he could not commit to include the environmental statements as they were very large and this would be an onerous task.


The Legal Officer stated that there was not a legal position on which documents should be included other than the Officer report and a list of background papers i.e. papers relied on to a material extent to write the report. She stated that the papers included by Officers were beyond what they were required to include in law.


In response to a Member’s comment about the organisation of representations, the Chairman commended Officers by organising the reports by topic matter.


In response to a Member’s suggestion about publishing the documents and printing the minimum, the Chairman stated that this was outside the remit of the sub-committee.


A Member suggested that responses should be categorised. A member raised concern about categorising or prioritising representations. Another Member suggested that they be categorised into statutory consultee representations and other representations.


MOTION: - A motion was put and seconded that Members continue to have included with their planning papers, all the representations received from third parties including individuals and bodies such as Historic England.


A Member requested that representations from the same consultee be grouped together. Officers stated they would consider this approach.


The Chairman asked Members if they were content to vote on the principle, with Officers coming back with a solution to the organisation of representations.


The Sub-Committee proceeded to vote on the motion.


Votes were cast as follows: IN FAVOUR – 10 votes

                                            OPPOSED – 3 votes

                                            There was 1 abstention.


The motion was therefore carried.


[Jaspreet Hodgson, was not present for this item and therefore did not vote.]


Questions About The Work Of The Sub-Committee And AOB Items

The Member asked for clarification on the items which could be raised. She stated that Members should be able to raise items of concern at Planning Applications Sub-Committee meetings that did not relate to the specific planning application but instead related to the broader work of the Planning and Transportation Committee. The Member stated that when the number of grand committees were reduced and separate Planning Applications Sub-Committees were set up, she understood that any urgent items could be dealt with under AOB.


The Interim Assistant Town Clerk stated that the practice of having questions and AOB as agenda items was not a statutory requirement but was long-standing Corporation practice. The agenda items were explicitly for matters relating to the work of the sub-committee for Planning Applications Sub-Committee and matters relating to the work of the committee for the Planning and Transportation Committee. The terms of reference of the Planning Application Sub-Committee were expressly based around the determination of planning applications and therefore broader strategic questions and AOB should be raised at the Planning and Transportation Committee.


Members were informed that there were other forums for questions to be asked and Members were welcome to ask questions of Officers between meetings, questions could be asked at the Planning and Transportation Committee, the Chairman could be emailed with questions and if the matter was on interest to the wider committee, an answer could be facilitated and circulated. These options would ensure questions were answered in a timely manner. If Members wanted the answer in the public domain, they could seek an answer and then raise it at the next Planning and Transportation Committee so that it could be put on public record.


The Chairman stated that if there were policy matters that needed clarification in relation to a planning application, these would be valid questions to put at the Planning Applications Sub-Committee. He stated that Members could contact the Director of Planning and Development with questions between meetings.


In relation to answers being put in the public domain, a Member raised concern in relation to possible delays between receiving answers to questions and being able to raise the matter at the next Planning and Transportation Committee. She suggested Members should be able to ask a brief question at the next Planning Applications Sub-Committee meeting and this would aid openness and transparency.


A Member raised concern that the opportunity for asking questions had reduced when the number of Planning and Transportation Committees had been reduced to 4 per year as a result of separating the Planning and Transportation and Planning Applications Sub-Committee. She stated that if Members had questions answered by email, the responses should be placed on the website so they were in the public domain. The Chairman advised that 9 Planning and Transportation Committees had been held in the previous 12 months.


A Member stated that it was important not to try and turn the Planning Applications Sub-Committee into a Planning and Transportation Committee through increasing the scope of questions. He suggested that if there was a way to report on questions between meetings in an efficient way, this could be useful. He stated that the lift report was no longer timely and suggested it could be published on the website as a monthly report. The Chairman asked Officers to provide more regular lift reports.




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