1. The Planning Committee comprises all Lanner Parish Councillors. Because the council has a statutory duty to comment on planning applications council considers that all Councillors have a duty to participate in the process. In addition, with only nine Councillors a committee of all is relatively easy to secure decisions and – of course – the ability to participate in local planning matters is a strong motivation for residents to stand for election to council.
2. The Planning Committee usually meets separately from full council. This is to ensure full and proper time is given to all applications. It also allows for in depth discussion of wider planning issues from Neighbourhood Plans to enforcement. Occasionally, a planning application will be heard in full council if it is of an obviously non-controversial nature and there are no other planning matters in the wings requiring a separate meeting.
3. The Planning Committee has a chairman elected annually. Traditionally, but not necessarily, the position is held by the council’s vice-chairman.
4. When the Clerk receives the weekly lists of applications and delegated decisions these are circulated to the Planning Committee chairman and to the council chairman as a “heads-up” that planning applications will be coming through for comment. These lists are also scanned over for applications in adjoining parishes which may bear on local interests.
5. When the Clerk receives formal notification of submission of a planning application (which can be a few days or more after receipt of the weekly list) the Committee chairman will be notified and a meeting of the Committee scheduled.
6. The Committee chairman will have read the documents relating to the application on Cornwall Council’s website. Either the chairman or another Councillor will visit the site and its environs, Site and location plan will be checked against what exists (with reference to such matters as gradients, boundaries, access) and photographs taken if necessary to help the meeting. A check will be made to see if any required notices are in place. If appropriate, neighbours might be informed of the application (without comment).
7. The clerk will download relevant documents from Cornwall Council website for presentation to meeting, re-orientating and labeling as necessary. The quality of forms, information and drawings will be inspected for correct validation and any queries raised with the Case Officer. The Clerk will liaise with the Committee chairman or Councillor dealing with the case and supporting documents will be bullet pointed on Power Point and any site photographs also incorporated into the presentation for the meeting.
8. The agenda will be circulated to all Councillors with the reference number for each application so that documents can be reviewed on the Cornwall Council website before the meeting. The applicant in each case will be notified and offered the opportunity to speak in the Public Participation session of the meeting. Anyone who has previously identified an interest will be notified of the meeting. Agendas will be published on the council’s notice board and website.
9. At the meeting the Committee chairman or Councillor who has visited the site will introduce the application after which normal discussion will follow as per Standing Orders.