• EDDC planning committee votes through public speaking clampdown

    1st April 2014 | News | Claire
  • The proposals also rule that people must pre-register to speak, and only those who have commented on an application in writing will be permitted to address the committee.

    The plans appear to hand an advantage to applicants as they are offered a slot of their own, in addition to the slots given to supporters.

    The new rules are complicated, confusing and far too restrictive at a time of huge anxiety, with the pressure of major development on many communities.

    Cllr Ray Bloxham, the author of a working group paper setting out the revised public speaking arrangements, spoke to councillors on the development management committee this morning. He referred to this blog and said it was wrong. The proposals were not restrictions, he insisted.

    Cllr Roger Giles expressed his concerns about the proposals, and in particular, the new rule on not allowing people to speak on applications if they haven’t formally objected.

    Just one councillor voted against the recommendations within the working party paper. Cllr Mike Allen, who agreed with Cllr Roger Giles that it was too restrictive.

    We are told that the proposals are not permitted to be discussed at the overview and scrutiny or standards committees, so the debate will be had at full council in May.

    One thing is for sure. If these plans are approved at full council next week (9 April), the efforts of local councillors, in terms of bringing important planning applications to the attention of residents, and then representing their views, will be absolutely paramount.  Communities will need good councillors more than ever.

    For more information on the proposals, see this earlier blog post – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/eddc_set_to_clamp_down_hard_on_public_speaking_at_planning_committee_meetin

    The FINAL decision on this issue will be made next week at full council, on Wednesday 9 May, starting at 6.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to speak for three minutes at the start of the meeting.