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Public Participation

Public Participation at Authority Meetings

1.1 Subject to certain limitations and exceptions as set out below, Parish Councils (including Parish Meetings), members of the public and representatives of organisations shall have an opportunity to participate at meetings of the Authority.

1.2 The agenda for a meeting of the Authority, save the Annual Meeting, shall include an agenda item to receive public participation.

1.3 Any member of the public or representative of an organisation who wishes to take this opportunity of participation at a meeting of the Authority shall notify the Member Services Officer at least 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting.

1.4 The notification under 1.3 above shall include the name of the person to address the meeting and a brief summary of the matter or matters to be raised, in the case of a Parish Council or Meeting, written confirmation that the person is authorised to speak on behalf of the Parish Council or Meeting.

1.5 For the avoidance of doubt, participation may be exercised with regard to any matter within the remit of the Authority and shall not be limited to matters on the agenda for that meeting.

1.6 Subject to Standing Order 5, the Chair will invite each speaker who has given prior notice in accordance with 1.3 (above) to address the meeting.  The speaker may address the meeting for up to three minutes, or such longer period as the Chair in his absolute discretion may permit. Any statements, questions or petitions shall be heard and received without debate. Members may ask questions for clarification but shall not respond on any matter or enter into any debate.

1.7 Every person asking a question or making a statement requiring a response shall receive a written response from an Officer of the Authority within 14 days, unless additional time for investigation and/or consideration is required. If additional time is required a response shall be sent giving reasons and the date by which it is anticipated that a final response will be provided.

1.8 Members of the Authority shall be informed of the response in due course.

1.9 Where there are a number of people wishing to participate, who in the opinion of the Chair appear to be concerned with the same subject matter, the Chair may indicate that the number of individual speakers cannot be accommodated and may ask those concerned to nominate a spokesperson to address the meeting. In these circumstances the Chair may allow a brief adjournment to enable a spokesperson to be appointed and may indicate that a speaking time in excess of three minutes will be permitted.

1.10 A member of the public not giving advance notice of their wish to participate in a meeting may speak for up to one minute at the invitation and at the absolute discretion of the Chair.  A Member or officer of the Authority may respond to points raised for up to two minutes.  Any further response will be provided in writing within 14 days, unless additional time for investigation and/or consideration is required. If additional time is required a response shall be sent giving reasons and the date by which it is anticipated that a final response will be provided.

1.11 The total time allowed for all public participation at any meeting under these Standing Orders shall not normally exceed 20 minutes.

1.12 Upon the conclusion of the time for public participation the Chair shall move to the next item of business and from that point no further public participation shall be permitted at that meeting.

1.13 For the avoidance of doubt “Chair” shall mean the person presiding at the meeting of the Authority in accordance with Standing Order 2.

Public Participation at Planning Committee Meetings

The SDNPA is committed to achieving fairness and value. Inviting members of the public to speak at its Planning Committee meetings aims to ensure that the Committee Members have the information that they need, to help them make well informed decisions on planning applications and related matters.

A maximum of six people are invited to speak on each planning application or related matter, for example, three in support and three against. This number includes the applicants or agents speaking in their behalf (such as a local Parish, Town, District, Unitary or County Councillor).

Each speaker will be allowed up to three minutes to speak. All aspects of public speaking at SDNPA Planning Committee meetings are subject to the discretion of the Planning Committee.

Reports and agendas for Planning Committee meetings can be found on the website 5 clear working days before the meeting date.

Who can speak?

To speak at an SDNPA Planning Committee you should normally have made written representations on the planning matter in question and you should notify the SDNPA beforehand, so please let the SDNPA know that you wish to speak, as soon as possible. You may approach a local Parish, Town, District, Unitary or County Councillor to speak on your behalf, if you prefer.

The people who can speak at the Planning Committee, and the order in which they will be invited to speak, are:

  • Up to three individuals or group representatives, including any County, Unitary, District, Town or Parish Council representatives, who are opposing the application.
  • Up to three individuals or group representatives, including any County, Unitary, District, Town or Parish Council representatives, who are supporting the application. This includes the applicant or agents, who have the right of reply to any points made.
  • Any other Member of the South Downs National Park Authority (not time limited)

If more than three individuals or representatives wish to raise similar points, then they will be asked to agree amongst themselves who should speak on their behalf. If necessary, the Chair of the Planning Committee will make any final decision on which members of the public may speak on an issue. The Chair may use his/her discretion to increase the number of people who may speak.

If necessary, the Chair of the Planning Committee will make any final decision on which members of the public may speak on an issue. The Chair may also use his/her discretion to increase the number of people who may speak.

How can I register to speak?

You can register to speak at a SDNPA Planning Committee meeting by contacting the Committee Officer via email or by telephone. Contact details are as follows:

Telephone: 01730 814810 Or email: public.speaking@southdowns.gov.uk

You need to register at least 3 working days before the meeting concerned. For example, if the meeting is held on a Thursday, you should call or email by 12 noon on the Monday.

When you call or email you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your Name, Address and Telephone Number. An email address if available.
  • The Planning Application number and details of the proposed development to which it refers or details of the other matters that you wish to speak about.
  • Confirmation of whether you wish to speak in support or against an application or other matter.
  • Confirmation of whether you are representing yourself or anyone else.
  • Confirmation that we can provide your details to other people in the event that there are more than 3 potential speakers. This is in order that you can agree which 3 people will speak.
  • Details of any special access or other arrangements that you may require.

For further information, please see the Planning Committee Public Speaking Protocol.

Public Participation at Policy and Resources Committee meetings

2.1 Subject to certain limitations and exceptions as set out below, members of the public and representatives of organisations shall have an opportunity to participate at meetings of the Policy and Resources Committee.

2.2 The agenda for a meeting of the Committee, save any extraordinary meeting, shall include an agenda item to receive public participation.

2.3 Any member of the public or representative of an organisation who wishes to take this opportunity of participation at a meeting of the Committee shall notify the Member Services Officer at least 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting.

2.4 The notification under 2.3 above shall include the name of the person to address the meeting and a brief summary of the matter or matters to be raised.

2.5 For the avoidance of doubt, participation may be exercised with regard to any matter within the purview of the Committee and shall not be limited to matters on the agenda for that meeting. Addresses related to a specific item may, at the Chair’s discretion, be heard at the start of the relevant agenda item. Public addresses not related to a specific item will be heard under a single agenda item as set out at para 2.2 above.

2.6 Subject to Standing Order 5, the Chairman will invite each speaker who has given prior notice in accordance with 2.3 and 2.4 (above) to address the meeting.  The speaker may address the meeting for up to three minutes, or such longer period as the Chairman in their absolute discretion may permit.

2.7 The total time allowed for all public participation at any meeting under these Standing Orders shall not normally exceed 20 minutes.

2.8 Any statements, questions or petitions shall be heard and received without debate. Members may ask questions for clarification but shall not respond on any matter or enter into any debate.

2.9 Every person asking a question or making a statement requiring a response shall receive a written response from an Officer of the Authority within 14 days, unless additional time for investigation and/or consideration is required. If additional time is required a response shall be sent giving reasons and the date by which it is anticipated that a final response will be provided.

2.10 Members of the Committee shall be informed of the response in due course.
2.11 Upon the conclusion of the time for public participation the Chair shall move to the next item on the agenda and from that point no further public participation shall be permitted at that meeting.

2.12 For the avoidance of doubt “Chair” shall mean the person presiding at the meeting of the Authority in accordance with Standing Order 2.

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