Significant, complex, or contentious applications are often referred to the Authority’s Planning and Access Committee. The committee is responsible for deciding the application.
As part of the decision-making process, the committee can allow the public to voice their opinions about particular applications.
You might wish to speak before the committee if:
- you have concerns about a planning application
- you object to a planning application
- you want to argue in favour of a planning application
You cannot address the committee about matters beyond planning applications, such as planning policy.
Changes due to COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Planning and Access Committees are being held remotely using the ‘Zoom’ platform. Your right to speak before the committee remains the same.
When you request to speak, a planning officer will provide you with details of what you’ll need to prepare along with information on how to join the remote meeting.
Who can address the committee?
You can address the committee if you are:
- the applicant
- a planning agent acting on behalf of an applicant
- someone who has submitted written comments on the application
You cannot demand to speak to the committee as a right. The invitation to speak and the conduct of the meeting is at the Chair’s discretion.
How do I submit a request to address the committee?
Before submitting a request, you must first find out whether the application has been referred to the committee. You can do this by contacting the National Park Authority Planning Department.
If the application has been referred to the committee, you must submit a request in writing to the Authority. Your request should include:
- your name
- contact details (including daytime telephone number)
- the planning application details and reference number
You should submit your request no later than 12 noon on the Friday before the committee is due to discuss the application.
Is there a limit to the number of people who can address the committee?
Only one person can speak for or against an application. The Chair has the discretion to allow a second speaker, but this will usually only be in exceptional circumstances.
If several people wish to speak, you must get together, decide on a spokesperson, and inform the Authority. It is a condition of this scheme that you permit the Authority to share your contact details with others who have requested to speak so that you can decide upon a spokesperson.
If you cannot reach an agreement, the first person who submitted the request to address the committee will be allowed to speak.
The Authority will telephone you to confirm details of the committee (e.g. date, time, venue and item number on the agenda). Please note that the Authority cannot take any responsibility for failure to reach you through the contact details you have given.
The Right to Reply
Where notice has been received from an objector wishing to address the committee, the applicant (or their agent) will be entitled to exercise the right to reply.
If the applicant has not already requested to address the committee, the Authority will contact the applicant (or their agent) to inform them of the situation.
Addressing the Committee
Unless the Chair of the Committee specifies to the contrary, planning applications will be heard in the order they appear on the published agenda.
The Authority cannot postpone an application because you’re not present or ready to speak when the Chair announces the application.
The Chair will notify the committee that there is a speaker and invite you to speak. During your address:
- you will have a maximum of three minutes to address the committee
- you should present your views courteously and with respect for the opinion of others
- you cannot use handouts, photographs or presentation equipment
After you have spoken, you must leave the matter to be debated by the committee. You are not allowed to join the debate unless the Chair of the Committee asks you questions to clarify any points raised.
What type of issues are relevant?
The planning system exists to regulate the development and use of land in the public interest. Agreed planning policies in the Eryri Local Plan guide the process, along with national planning legislation and guidance.
These planning policies are the most important consideration in deciding planning applications because they set out the guidance of how land should be developed.
The following is a brief list of the types of relevant issues which the Authority can consider:
- If the proposal complies with the Eryri Local Development Plan as well as national legislation and guidance
- How the proposal relates to its surrounding area in terms of design
- Whether the proposal would significantly overshadow or have a serious oppressive or overbearing impact
- Whether the proposal would result in a serious loss of privacy to adjoining properties
- The effect of parking, traffic and road safety
- Unacceptable noise and disturbance to adjoining residents
- Flood risk
No matter how strongly you feel, if an issue raised is not relevant to the planning process, the Authority will not be able to consider it in making a decision. The Authority cannot refuse planning permission simply because people object or approve it because many support it.
The Authority cannot take into consideration issues you raise relating to:
- The alleged character and behaviour of an applicant
- Loss of views
- Devaluation of property
- Covenants affecting properties
- Land ownership or boundary disputes
- Trade objections from potential competitors
What happens after I’ve made my presentation to the committee?
After the committee has heard from all speakers, they will debate the application. The committee can decide to approve or refuse the application on the day. Alternatively, the committee can defer the decision to arrange a site visit or gain further information. In such cases, you will not be allowed to address the committee again at a future meeting.