Dear Elmbridge Borough Council,

Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic and conservation movement is campaigning to put public participation at the heart of the planning system. With this in mind, I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

1. Can you confirm how long, in minutes, a community group such as a Civic Society is permitted to speak at your local council’s Planning Committee? (By ‘Planning Committee’ we mean your local authority’s committee of elected members which determines planning applications. It may be known by a different name in your local authority).

2. Is there a limit on the number of registered speakers permitted to speak at your Planning Committee? If yes, please specify the maximum number of speakers allowed.

3. Is there a limit on the total time allowed for registered speakers? If yes, please provide details of the time restriction.

3. Are your Planning Committee procedure rules publicly available online? If yes, please provide the weblink.

Yours sincerely,

Sophie Mason
Finance and Administration Officer
Civic Voice

Freedom of Information, Elmbridge Borough Council

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Elmbridge Borough Council

High Street, Civic Centre, Esher

Surrey, KT10 9SD


01372 474474



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Committee, Elmbridge Borough Council

Dear Ms. Mason,


I refer to your Freedom of Information request and specifically Elmbridge
Borough Council’s arrangements in respect of public speaking at Planning
Committees.  Please find my responses to your questions below:


 1. Where a Planning Application qualifies for public speaking either by
the number of written objections or by way of a petition that has been
received and signed by a minimum of 50 signatories, one objector,
chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, will be allowed to address
the Sub-Committee for 3 minutes.  Where an objector speaks on an
application, the applicant or agent will also be given the opportunity
to address the Sub-Committee for 3 minutes.


 2. Yes, only one objector will be allowed to address the Sub-Committee. 
It is suggested that should more than one objector wish to address the
Sub-Committee, a spokesperson be appointed to put the combined views
of objectors across at the meeting.  Where an objector speaks on an
application, the applicant or agent will also be given the opportunity
to address the Sub-Committee.


 3. An objector is given 3 minutes to address the Sub-Committee.  Where an
objector speaks on an application, the applicant or agent is also
given 3 minutes to address the Sub-Committee.


 4. Yes - [1]


The Council operates a presumption of openness in its access to
information.  It provides much information outside the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act and it will continue to do on a “business as
usual” basis.  Persons do not need to engage the statutory provisions to
access all reasonable information about the Council and its services.


If, for whatever reason, you are unhappy with our response, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to Head of Legal Services,
Elmbridge Borough Council, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10


Should you then remain dissatisfied at the outcome of that process, you
are entitled to appeal against the decision by contacting:

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. 

Telephone:  0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

Website:  [2]


There is no charge for making an appeal.


Yours sincerely,


Ms. B. Greenstein

Head of Democratic Services

Elmbridge Borough Council

Civic Centre

High Street


Surrey  KT10 9SD


Tel: 01372 474474


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