To consider a report on the outcome of a review of the Development Management Committee’s operational procedures.
Pursuant to Minute No 18/72, the Committee gave consideration to the findings of the Development Management Committee Review Group following the completion of a review into the Committee’s operation procedures. A copy of the report is appended in the Minute Book. Members discussed the value of being able to ask questions of clarification of speakers on applications. Having been advised of the results of monitoring of the length of time such questions took, on the grounds that it constituted an important part of the determination process, it was decided that this facility should be retained.
On the grounds that the Council already retained sufficient expertise, that using these Officers would provide consistency in the interpretation of policy and that external trainers would be costly, it also was decided to continue with the existing arrangements for the provision of training. Whereupon, it was
· Officers should continue to manage the Agenda for DMC meetings,
· A fixed finish time for meetings should not be introduced but this should be kept under review,
· The extent of Public Speaking usage should be monitored to enable future review of its value and impact on the longevity of meetings,
· Officers should be explicit about the extent of the work that has been undertaken to assess application and make recommendations on them,
· Postcodes should be included on the Notice of Meeting schedule,
· The Notice of Meeting should contain a prominent note that the order of the Agenda may be subject to change,
· Advice Notes / Guidance should be reviewed to ensure they are consistent and up-to-date,
· Officers should prepare and deliver information on material planning considerations and valid reasons for recommendations as part of town and parish council training sessions, Town and Parish Councils should consider themselves the scope for mutual collaboration on providing advice and guidance support to others on planning and consider an online forum,
· The new Members’ induction should continue to include instruction on planning and Council procedures,
· All Members should seek to be ambassadorial for the Council in explaining the Council’s policies and reasons for decisions to their communities,
· Full reasons for refusing applications contrary to recommendations as stated by the proposer (and seconded) and the policy and process implications of that potential decision will be submitted to the next DMC meeting for confirmation,
· The County Council should be requested to provide more detailed reasons for its recommendations on applications when it is acting as a statutory consultee in its capacity as the Highway Authority,
· The County Council should be invited to provide training for DMC Members on the Highway Authority’s role,
· 3C ICT should be consulted on the feasibility of enabling all Members to register to receive direct notifications of receipt of new applications,
· Officers in the Development Management Section are requested to prioritise communications from Ward Members on applications,
· Training sessions held for DMC Members should include Planning Inspectors’ decisions,
· Voting patterns should be electronically displayed for public information,
· The Council should continue to monitor the operation of the DMC and the size of agenda.