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MBC acceptance or rejection of IESE Planning Review Recommendations – Nov 2017


SPST Committee Amendments Feb 2018

Line of Enquiry

MBC interpretation and commentary

Implement Yes / No


Working Group Comment

Members and Committee


1) Develop and establish a Member Development Programme to include Peer to Peer support


APPENDIX 1Given the desired approach set out in 2, this was not felt to be necessary.



The working group was not minded to pursue this recommendation


2) Review the Member induction programme and Member training for Planning Committee to ensure that key elements and responsibilities are covered and embedded


Yes, but this to be redesigned and commissioned by the Head of Planning to a specialist training provider such as the Planning Advisory Service or the Local Government Association, with the cost to come from the Members development budget. It is envisaged that in time this could be facilitated and or supplemented by modern learning methods / greater use of IT. I.e. Officers should no longer provide this training service. This programme should cover all planning training, to include introduction, refresher and specialist topics.



June 18

The working group was minded to pursue this recommendation at least in part.

That greater use of e-learning modules be included in the Member induction programme and training for Planning Committee to ensure that key elements and responsibilities are covered and embedded. This would save time and be accessible for all Members.

3) Review the Parish Call in process with the view to removing the automatic right of call in and replacing with the need to provide material planning reasons and consider whether all Parish call-ins should come via the Ward Member


The call can only be made on a material planning consideration, and so this revised process would need to be facilitated by a menu based online form that would need to be completed for consideration by the Head of Planning and Development. This process should apply for Members too, however, the Parish call in need not be via the Ward Member.



June 18

The working group was minded to pursue this recommendation

That the line of enquiry relating to the parish call-in process is not implemented.

4) Review Officer attendance at Committee to ensure appropriate use of officer time, including the requirement for Legal representation





The working group was not minded to pursue this recommendation other than by reducing the length of Officers’ opening presentations and also improvements to be brought about in recommendation 5.



5) Review the operation of the Planning Committee and the way the agenda is drawn up with a view to minimising the length of the Committee, the movement of items around the agenda and deferrals


The suggestions are based upon discussions at the working group;


A)  Speaking Arrangements


The principles of (a) limiting the number of speakers and (b) imposing time limits are essential if the recommendation about limiting length of Committee meetings is to be implemented.  However, in practice the Chairman can of course waive these rules. 


There should be a maximum of four speakers allowed, to be as follows;


-       One agent / applicant

-       One objector

-       One Parish or resident’s association

-       One Ward Member


*If the Parish wish to speak, they take this speaking slot at the expense of the residents association.


Each speaker must register their intention to speak 48 hours before the start of the meeting.


Each speaker is allowed three minutes.




5A to 5F to be considered by SPS&T.


That the speaking arrangements proposed are not implemented, but that the slot for the parish or residents association go to any other concerned resident if no parish or residents association registers to speak, with the Chairman’s discretion.


B)  Officer Opening Presentations


These will be no longer than five minutes.






The recommendation was supported by the Committee. However, the Committee did not support an absolute restriction of 5 minutes. In order to keep Officer Introductions concise, the Committee raised the possibility of including a caveat at the top of each agenda which stated that it was assumed that all Members had read the papers.




C)  Committee Member Debate


Committee Members will speak for no longer than three minutes per application and this will be managed by the Chair, and some flexibility would be required here at the summing up stage, in terms of formulating grounds for refusal.





That the Committee Member Debate should not be restricted by time.




D)  Late representations


Any relevant new information received up to 24 hours before the Committee will be reported in writing via a written urgent update.


Late representations received less than 24 hours before the Committee meeting will only be reported verbally to the Committee.








E)  Reduce the size of the Planning Committee


To consider reducing the number of Members from 13 to 11.





That the Planning Committee should not be reduced to 11 Members.


F)  Hold the Planning Committee in the afternoon rather than the evening


With an expectation that the meeting is concluded by 6.30pm. There was not consensus upon this proposal from the working group however.





That the Planning Committee should not be held in the afternoon rather than the evening.

6) Implement constitutional change to ensure that Planning Committee can only refuse Outline Planning Permission on an allocated site where it is not compliant with policy


Or alternatively, allocated sites could instead be considered by SPS&T at outline application stage.



The working group was not minded to pursue this recommendation


7) Streamline Committee reports to a maximum of 10 pages – Develop a template to be used by all Officers with brief summary and recommendations at start, body of report to contain relevant information only with links as necessary to other documents. Reports should detail fees attracted i.e. pre-app, PPA, planning fees and projected New Homes Bonus and Council Tax/Business Rates receipts to provide a full picture of the financial implications of the development.

This concept is already in place, in terms of more concise report writing, but will not be rigidly applied (in terms of adhering to a maximum length of report in all cases). The team have now undertaken specialist training on this matter.












That the idea of concise reports be supported but the Committee did not want arbitrary restriction on the number of pages.