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Speaking at planning committee

Most applications are decided under delegated powers but some are decided by the Planning Applications Committee. The committee is made up of elected councillors. They are responsible for making decisions on planning applications heard by committee.

Anyone with an interest in an application has the opportunity to submit a speech.  There are limits to the number of these for each application and the time allowed. You will need to register in advance. Please see the information below for the details and timescales relating to your council.

The committee will only consider applications included on the agenda for that particular meeting. For further information on what to say, please visit Comment on a planning application.

How to register an interest to speak

As a temporary measure, and as a consequence of the Covid 19 emergency, the Planning Applications Committee are currently being held remotely (see document below for further details). Prior notice of meetings will be shown on the Council’s website in the usual way. The meetings will be live streamed and viewable by the public by clicking on a link that will be provided on the committee pages.

Live public speaking has temporarily been suspended although it is it remains possible to submit speeches on planning applications due to be considered by Committee. Our revised Public Speaking Scheme guidelines are set out below:

Registration for members of the public who want to submit a speech on an application will open from the time the agenda for that meeting is published on the Council’s website.

To register to submit a speech on an application you should email or telephone the planning department on 01273 471600. If telephoning to register, please speak to a member of the planning team, please do not leave a message on an answerphone. You will need to provide your name, address, contact telephone number, the application number, state whether your speech is in favour or against the application, and your relationship to the application site.

All requests to submit a speech must be submitted no later than 12 noon, two clear days prior to the committee meeting (for example, the deadline would be 12 noon on the Monday prior to a Wednesday committee meeting).

  • Speakers are registered on a first-come, first served basis and places fill up quickly.
  • The Public Speaking Scheme rules which place a limit on the numbers of public speakers allowed and time allotted to each speaker still apply to these temporary arrangements. The maximum time for each speech is three minutes, other than the Ward Member/s and Town/Parish Councillors who have five minutes and this will be strictly applied. 

Registered speakers will not be able to participate in a live meeting although their speeches/ comments will be read out to the committee by an Officer. 

Once you have received an email to confirm your registration to submit a speech has been successful, please email a copy of your speech to no later than 12 noon on the day before the committee meeting. The text of your speech will also likely to be published as part of the supplementary report for members to view prior to the meeting.

  • Submissions must not include any photographic or other images and if such information is included, it will not be circulated to members to view. Any submissions considered to contain aggressive or abusive language, or that make personal remarks regarding any Member, officer or third party will be rejected.

Agendas and reports for forthcoming meetings are available on our committee pages.

You can also read minutes from previous meetings and find full details of the councillors on our Planning Applications Committee.

Please read the document below for further details on time limits and number of speakers for planning application committee meetings for Lewes District Council.

 To request to speak at Planning Committee, you first need to find the application in our online planning system:

  1. Go directly to our online planning system.  
  2. Search for the planning application or view the most recent weekly list.       
  3. Select the Application Reference link.  
  4. When the 'Details of Planning Application' are displayed, select the Comment button at the top of the page.
  5. Complete and submit the details as requested.

Agendas and reports for forthcoming meetings are available on our committee pages.

Please read the guidance below for further information on procedures, times of meetings and venue.

South Downs National Park (SDNP) applications in the Lewes District that are referred to committee are decided by Lewes District Council Planning Applications Committee. If the application is deemed ‘significant’ by the SDNP, the application will be determined by a case officer at the SDNP or referred to their planning committee.

The committee agenda is split into two parts; one for hearing applications outside of the national park area, and the other for applications within the boundary. The same procedures, timescales and limits apply for South Downs National Park and Lewes District Council applications heard at committee.

Please refer to the guidance and procedures on the Lewes District Council tab for further information and to register to speak.