Public speaking at planning board meetings

If you wish to speak in favour of or against an item on the planning board agenda, please register your interest to speak beforehand. You can do this by contacting Angela Taylor on 01773 841631 or by email to Alternatively, you can use the online request form.

Members of the board will each have a copy of a written report for each application, which sums up the representations that the council has already received. You can obtain a copy of this report from five days before the meeting by contacting us.

Owing to the volume of business at the planning board meeting you will only be able to speak for up to three minutes.

  • To make the best use of your time, please be brief and to the point. You may find it helpful to rehearse what you have to say to ensure that everything is included. You will not be allowed to over-run your time.
  • Owing to the short time you have in which to put your views across, it is better not to bring plans or elaborate visual aids to illustrate your points, and written submissions, photographs or display material will not be accepted at the meeting.
  • You may find that if there are a significant number of objectors / supporters that it would be better to appoint a one person to speak for you all.
  • Please confine your comments to planning issues, which the board can take into account - an indication of what can and cannot be taken into account is given below.
  • Please avoid derogatory or defamatory statements.
  • You may not speak in connection with certificate of lawful development, enforcement or legal matters or ask questions about agenda items including planning applications but may write to the development management department in the usual way at town hall, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3BT, or by email to

Procedure at the meeting

  • On arrival, please make yourself known to the committee clerk.
  • You will be asked to sit in the public area at the back of the council chamber.
  • The chairman will announce the application on which you wish to speak and invite you to do so.
  • Objector(s) will usually be invited to speak first, followed by the supporter(s). The applicant will speak last. You will be invited to speak for up to three minutes. The time limit will be strictly enforced and you will be warned when you have only 30 seconds left.
  • After you have finished speaking, you will be asked to return to your seat. You are welcome to sit and listen to the debate, but will not be able to take part in the discussion or ask any questions of the applicant or members of the planning board.
  • When all representations have been made, the application will be considered with the planning officer offering any necessary factual clarification. The planning board members will debate the application and move to a vote.
  • Usually a decision is reached upon the application, but in a small number of cases, consideration may be deferred for the board to visit the site or to receive further information. If the decision is deferred to a later meeting, you will be informed of the time and date that meeting will take place.
  • Once a vote has been taken, you need not stay, but you are welcome to remain for some or the rest of the meeting if you so wish.
  • The chairman has responsibility for the smooth running of the meeting. His/her decision on procedural matters is final.

Matters which the planning board will not be able to take into account when dealing with planning applications

Planning powers are exercised in the public interest and objections to a planning application on grounds, which reflect the writer's personal and private interests would normally not be applicable. Examples would be:

  • Loss of a view
  • Infringement of rights of light
  • A breach of covenant attaching to land
  • A fear that property may be devalued
  • A fear that trade may be lost to a competitor
  • Rights of way

Matters which may be taken into account

  • The structure and local plan policies and proposals for the area
  • National planning guidance
  • The density of development proposed for a site
  • The effect of an application on highway safety. Is there a safe access? Would traffic from the development be significantly hazardous to drivers or pedestrians
  • The impact of a proposal on local amenities and the character of the neighbourhood
  • The design of the development
  • Potential for a building or use to cause unacceptable disturbance or pollution to neighbours or the locality
  • Impact upon neighbours in terms of noise, overlooking, overshadowing or overbearing impact
  • Impact of the proposal on the character of an area including nature conservation, or a conservation area or a listed building
  • The planning history of the site

This is not an exhaustive list - for further guidance, please contact the development management team on 01773 841571 or by email to

Finally, if you wish to question or comment on the conduct of individual officers or councillors, or upon procedural matters, this should not be done at planning board meeting. 

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841631 or email