Members of the public are given the opportunity to comment on planning applications at meetings of the Planning Committee at which they are to be considered. This is in addition to any written representations made prompted by the publicity given to applications.

Comments can be made on those planning applications which are listed on the agenda for discussion by the committee.

From the 7 May 2021, the law requires all councils to hold formal meetings in person. The council is also required to follow Government guidance and ensure that all venues used are Covid secure and that all appropriate measures are put in place. There are a limited number of spaces available for members of the public to attend.

For each planning application listed on the agenda, there will only be capacity for a maximum of six supporters of the application, six objectors of the application, the applicant, the agent and a representative of the Parish Council to attend in person (or make a written representation). You will be required to book a place by 12noon on the Monday proceeding the Planning Committee meeting by telephoning 01271 388253 or emailing member.services@northdevon.gov.uk and advise which planning application you would like to address the committee. Speakers will be restricted to three minutes each. Questions or comments about planning applications will be dealt with at the time when those applications are considered. These should be confined to additional information on issues which you feel have not been fully covered in the officer's report and presentation to the committee.

If you would prefer to provide a written submission rather than attending the meeting in person, this would be read out to the committee for you at the appropriate time by an officer. The maximum length of the written submission is 400 words and must be emailed to member.services@northdevon.gov.uk by 12noon on the Monday proceeding the Planning Committee meeting.  Please note that any written representations received will be included in the total number of objectors and supporters that are permitted to address the committee as detailed above. The Chair will ensure that the opportunity is given to both sides to speak, but an application will not be deferred merely because one side is unable or does not wish to be present.

If there are a number of applications listed on the Planning Committee agenda for consideration, you will only be able to enter the venue for the application that you are interested in and will be requested to leave the venue following the determination of the application.

After the officer has presented the application report, the Chair will invite the Town/Parish Council representative, if present, to make comment, following which others wishing to comment will be invited to speak.

Once the comments by members of the public have been made, the Chair will allow the applicant or his agent to respond if present.

The Planning Officer will then be given the opportunity to respond to or clarify any points that have arisen from the public participation exercise.

It is at the discretion of the Chairman to decide when public participation will end.

Please note that the meeting will not be recorded.

Advice for speakers

  1. You must direct your questions and comments through the Chair, and may not take part in the Committee debate
  2. State clearly your name, who you are representing and whether you are supporting or objecting to the application
  3. Speak slowly, clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear you, and direct your comments to the Chair and members of the committee
  4. Try to be brief, avoid being repetitive and try to prepare what you want to say beforehand

If you require any assistance in preparing your statement or question, or if you need further guidance on how the committee operates, please contact us and we will inform you of the name of the committee administrator.

Attendance at meetings in person

  • Please do not attend a meeting of the Planning Committee if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms such as: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours; or a loss/change to your sense of smell or taste
  • The meeting room will be ventilated with windows and doors kept open. Therefore, please ensure that you wear appropriate clothing
  • Please do not enter the meeting venue until 10 minutes before the meeting through the entrance door which will be clearly marked.  For track and trace purposes, you will be required to scan the QR code by the entrance door or sign in providing your name, address and contact telephone number (NOTE: Please remember to bring your own pen if you are unable to scan the QR code. If you are unable to scan the QR code and required to sign in, this data will be retained by the Barnstaple Rugby Club for a period of 21 days. If you have not already downloaded the NHS app, you may wish to do so prior to your attendance so that you can scan the QR code)
  • You will be required to wear a face covering at all times inside the meeting room (NOTE: If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please notify the Corporate and Community Services when booking your place)
  • You will be required to use hand sanitiser upon your arrival and leaving
  • Please maintain social distancing at all times and follow the directional signage in place
  • When entering the meeting room, please proceed to your place as directed by an Officer and remain seated
  • At the conclusion of the planning application, please filter out of the room by maintaining social distancing and leave the building immediately
  • Fire alarm – if there is a fire alarm you will be instructed to leave the meeting room quickly by an officer present