Planning Committee Meetings

An application that I am interested in (or that I have submitted) is going to committee. Why is that?

The Mid Sussex District Council Members have agreed a Scheme of Delegation that allows our planning officers to make planning decisions. If, however, a planning decision does not fall within this scheme, the application will be decided at committee. For details see: The Scheme of Delegation. (pages 40, 41, 51 and 52).

Council Ward Member’s also have the power to request that any application is brought before the committee. This request needs to be received before the end of the public notice period.

Are there different types of committee?

Mid Sussex District Council hold 3 different committees known as Committee A, Committee B, and District Committee. 

  • The committee that an application goes to is mainly based on the timetable for the determination of the application. However,
  • District Planning Committee, is reserved for the larger schemes where an application consists of 50 or more residential units, or more than 2,000 square meters of other development.

Are these different to the Town/Parish meetings?

Yes. The Town or Parish are statutory consultees and will hold their own meetings to form their formal consultation response. This opinion is taken into account when making the formal decision. However, it is Mid Sussex District Council who will make the final decision either under delegated powers, or via a planning committee.

When is the committee?

If you submitted the application, or you had made representation in regards to the application, you will be sent a letter or an email 1 week prior to the committee to give you the committee details. Please note, that neighbours notified at the start of a planning application will not automatically receive a letter unless they have also written in to comment.

Please follow this link for a list of all upcoming Council Meetings.

Please follow this link for Planning committee agendas

Can I speak at the Committee?

There is an opportunity to speak at a planning committee. The maximum number of speakers on an application consists of a representative from the Town/Parish Council, 2 speakers against the proposal and 2 speakers in support of the proposal. Each speaker is able to address the meeting for a maximum of 2 minutes at Committee A or B.

District Planning Committee can have an additional speaker in both support and against the proposal and will also get an additional minute each when speaking. After which no questions or further comment will be permitted from the speakers.

If you wish to speak at the meeting you must register with a member of staff at the venue. You will be able to register 1 hour before the meeting at the earliest, and the opportunity to register will end 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.  You will be briefed further on the procedures for public speaking prior to the start of the meeting. 

While you are speaking there is a visual aid to inform you when time is up at which point the chairman will stop you at the end of your next sentence.

Please note:

  • There is no obligation to speak at the committee. Any comments sent in writing will still be taken into account, whether you choose to speak at the meeting or not.

  • There may be occasions where an application is withdrawn by the applicant and in these circumstances it may not be possible to advise you of this prior to the meeting.

What happens at a committee?

To begin the meeting, the Committee Chairman will make an opening address. Once this is complete they will move to the first item on the agenda.

To begin consideration of a planning application, an officer will address the committee and will firstly highlight any updates or changes that have occurred since generation of the agenda. They will then provide an overview of the planning application and put forward their recommendation.

Those that registered to speak will then be given their opportunity to do so in the following order:

  1. Representative from the Town/Parish Council
  2. Speakers objecting to the proposal
  3. Speakers in support of the proposal

Once the members have heard all the speakers they will debate the proposal. Once this has occurred, the members will vote to decide whether the application be approved or refused. 

What happens after the committee?

Once a decision has been made at committee, and any subsequent follow-up work has been completed, the case officer will request that the decision notice is issued. It is at this point that a decision will be formally issued. There is no set time on issuing a decision however; it will be issued as soon as possible after the decision was made at committee.

If the application has been refused, the decision can be challenged at appeal by the applicant. Please follow our link below for more information on the appeal process.