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0 votes
Our planning Committee only meets once a month. But we have to reply to applications forwarded by the borough council within 21 days. The clerk has been adding items to the agenda and re-sending it, sometimes only a few hours before the meeting. I have pointed out at the last meeting that this is unlawful. Legislation says that all meeting, including committees, must receive the required 3 clear days notice. She said that we should change standing orders so the planning agenda can be amended, saying the agenda was issued at the correct time so this is only 'amending it' and was ok. I argued against it, it's not just the summoning to the meeting, it's the time to read and digest the contents. She then went down a different route and said we can delegate powers to do this to the Clerk. As I understand it we can delegate certain things to the clerk but find it hard to believe that we can delegate the Clerk to do something that breaks legislation!

Can some of you wonderful clerks tell me if I am correct?
by (2.8k points)

4 Answers

0 votes
How about you change the planning committee terms of reference allowing them to make the decisions on planning matters on behalf of the council and report back to the monthly council meeting. Alternatively ensure that the clerk makes representation to the planning authority for an extension of the time for comment so that you have time to hold a PC meeting if that is where your decisions need to be made.
by (27.1k points)
Hi Mentorman. The planning committee already has powers to make decisions about planning matters. I have suggested that we meet more often. Being in a decent sized town we get quite a few, the authority does grant us an extension occasionally but I think they will get a bit fed up if we keep asking for them. My question really concerns the sending out, and amending, of the agenda. I have a couple of times recently attended a meeting only to find that an amended agenda has been sent out with new items but I haven't seen it. In one case literally 2 hours before the start of the meeting! Surely this is not allowed?  (3 clear days). And the clerk seems to think the Council can delegate the power to do this to her. I find that hard to believe. Delegate the power to break legislation??
+1 vote
Commenting on Planning applications cannot be delegated to to the Clerk.  The Agenda item could be amended to comment on all applications submitted by the Planning authority by a given date, and the details of the applications could all be on an agenda paper published to meet the the required 3 clear days notice.   The clerk is just being inefficient adding to them.  Most Planning authorities have an online planning system where non luddite councillors could get the details for themselves,
by (35.4k points)
+1 vote
The reason we have to give three clear days' notice is to allow members of the public to find out what we are discussing and decide whether or not it affects them. Adding last minute items should only happen in an emergency and should not be a substitute for arranging another meeting. My Planning Committees meet whenever required, as that is the only way we can comply with the requirements. We do not have enough planning applications to schedule a regular meeting, but if this is your preferred option, then meetings should be scheduled every three weeks.
by (53.3k points)
0 votes

Cllr’s need to take some initiative and use the LA planning page - advanced search function, enter town or parish and a date set - and review any validated applications BEFORE they go to a meeting. Trying to have proper consideration actually at a PC or planning committee meeting is just not possible. 

It will be very rare - possible but rare - that an application might be validated in the days after  the agenda is issued but before the meeting  can’t see how it would be often enough to create a massive issue. 

Better to try and get Cllr’s to personally review applications before  rather than at a meeting. 

by (6.4k points)

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