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

The application will be decided by committee if a planning decision does not fall within our 'delegation scheme'.

Council members also have the power to ask that any application be brought before the committee.

Are there different types of committee?

Mid Sussex District Council hold two different committees known as:

The Planning Committee
Most applications - that are determined by members - will be brought to the Planning Committee. This committee is district wide.

The District Planning Committee
This committee is for larger schemes consisting of more than:

  • 50 or more residential units or
  • 2,000 square meters of other development

Are these committees different to the town/parish meetings?


Town or parish meetings are for the parish/town council to decide their formal opinion on an application before sending their comments to the planning department.

This opinion is taken into account when making the formal decision. It is Mid Sussex District Council who will make the final decision.

When does the committee meet?

Mid Sussex District Council meetings calendar

You will be sent a letter or an email with full details one week before the committee meets if you are:

  • The person who submitted the application
  • The agent
  • Someone who has commented on an application

Please note: Neighbours notified at the start of a planning application will not automatically receive a letter unless they have also written in to comment.

Can I speak at the committee meeting?


Current procedures for Planning Committee meetings

Planning and District Planning Committees are held in the Council Chamber at Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1SS.

Those wishing to speak, including Ward Members, need to register with Democratic Services by emailing committees@midsussex.gov.uk by 1pm three working days prior to the meeting (i.e. by 1pm Monday for a meeting taking place on Thursday). Please indicate if you are intending to speak for or against the application. Following registration, any members of the public with a right to speak will be briefed on how they make their contribution. Speakers must send a copy of their proposed remarks via email to: committees@midsussex.gov.uk by 1pm on the day prior to the meeting.

The maximum number of speakers on an application depends on the committee. 

Planning Committee:

  •     A representative from the Town/Parish Council
  •     Two speakers against the proposal
  •     And two speakers in support of the proposal.

District Planning Committee:

  •     A representative from the Town/Parish Council
  •     Three speakers against the proposal
  •     And three speakers in support of the proposal.

Each speaker is able to address the meeting for a maximum of two minutes at the Planning Committee and for three minutes at the District Planning Committee.

During the meeting, when invited to do so by the Chairman, the speaker may make their statement orally to the committee. 

Please note:

  • You will not be asked to speak if you don't want to

What happens at a committee?

The committee chairperson will make an opening speech. They will move to the first item on the agenda.

An officer will mention any updates or changes that have happened since the agenda was written. They will then give an overview of the planning application and put forward their recommendation.

Those that registered to speak will to do so in the following order:

  1. Representative from the town/parish council
  2. Speakers against the proposal
  3. Speakers supporting the proposal

Once the members have heard all the speakers they will debate the proposal. Afterwards 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 but it will be issued as soon as possible after the decision.

The decision can be challenged at appeal if the application has been refused.

Please see Planning appeals.

Contact us

Tel: 01444-477566
Email: planninginfo@midsussex.gov.uk

Last updated: 21 August 2023