As part of our commitment to the community, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) aims to inform, consult with, and listen to local people.

The public is allowed to request to speak at Development Committee meetings about planning applications. Speaking at a Development Committee meeting allows the public and applicants to comment directly on planning applications to the Councillors who make the decisions.

(Please note that this scheme does not apply to sites within the Broads Authority area)

Request to speak at a meeting

How to register

The registration period is strictly between 8:30am on the day of the publication of the Development Committee Agenda, and 9am on the Tuesday before the Thursday meeting. The agenda is published on the council's website one week before the meeting.

If a meeting date is changed, you must register by 9am, two working days before the meeting.

You will be asked to call back if you request to speak before the publication of the agenda.

To register to speak on a planning application, please contact Customer Services:

By email:

By phone:

01263 516150

When contacting the council, we will require the following information:

  • full name
  • email address
  • telephone number
  • application name
  • whether you support or object to the application
  • confirm that your contact details can be shared with other members of the public requesting to speak on the same application

Additional information or photographs wanting to be considered at the meeting will need to be sent to the Case Officer before 9.00am on the Tuesday before the meeting. Officers will then include it at the end of their presentation with any photographs displayed on the main screen. Only information provided by this deadline will be allowed at the meeting.

Meetings times and location

Meetings are held every four weeks in the Council Chamber of the NNDC offices in Cromer, on a Thursday morning, starting at 9.30am. The Development Committee page shows the meeting dates and times.

When will my application be considered?

The agendas are published on the Development Committee page on our website at least five days before each meeting at the Council Offices.

You can contact the Customer Services Team on 01263 516150 or email for the date of the meeting.

The Development Committee agenda may change before the committee meets. Therefore it is advisable to check the Development Committee webpage or call a few days before the meeting to check that the application is still on the agenda.

What will happen at the meeting?

To keep the meetings to a manageable length, we allow only one objector and one supporter to speak on each minor application for up to three minutes each.

Priority will be given to the applicant to speak in support of their application. If the applicant does not request to speak, the opportunity to speak in support of an application will go to the first person registered.

If more than one person requests to speak on an application, the council will refer to the applicant requesting to speak or the first person registered to appoint a spokesperson. If no agreement can be reached, the slot will be given to the applicant on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the case of major applications or where the council is the landowner or has a legal interest, up to four objectors will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes each. In this case, up to four supporters will be allowed to speak for the same amount of time allowed for the objectors.

  1. The officer makes their report, adding to, updating and illustrating the written report circulated to committee members. The officer will include additional information or photographs provided by the public at the end of their presentation.
  2. The chairman will invite the Town or Parish Council representative to speak for up to three minutes
  3. The chairman will invite one objector to sit at a place at the front of the chamber. They will be asked for their name and whom they represent and then speak for up to three minutes.
  4. The applicant, representative or supporter, if present, will then be invited to speak – also for up to three minutes
  5. In the case of major applications or where the council is the landowner or has a legal interest, up to four objectors will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes each. In this case, up to four supporters will be allowed to speak for the same amount of time allowed for the objectors.
  6. The local district councillors, if present, will be invited to speak.
  7. The councillors who make up the committee will then debate the matter (and may ask for further information from the officer or the public speakers) before coming to a decision

Please make your comments on the application itself and the relevant planning issues that may be considered in reaching a decision.

Do comment on

Planning Policy such as:

  • Local Development Framework
  • government guidance
  • case law
  • previous decisions of the council

Other planning issues such as:

  • design
  • appearance
  • layout

Impact on visual or residential amenity including:

  • potential loss of light or overshadowing
  • loss of privacy
  • noise disturbance
  • smell or nuisance

Impact on:

  • trees
  • listed buildings
  • conservation area
  • public rights of way
  • highway safety and traffic

Don't comment on

The following are not relevant planning issues:

  • private property rights,
  • boundary or access disputes,
  • restrictive covenants
  • private rights of way
  • ancient rights to light
  • effect on property values
  • loss of a private view
  • personality, or a developer's motives
  • anything covered by other types of legislation

The chairman will reject any comment if it is:

  • inappropriate
  • abusive
  • indecent
  • discriminatory
  • frivolous
  • irrelevant
  • unacceptable

You will not be allowed to distribute photographs or illustrations at the meeting or play audio or video recordings.

Can I ask questions?

Speakers will not be allowed to ask questions, but committee members may ask questions of the speaker with the express permission of the committee chairman

If I can't attend the meeting

Consideration of an application will not be delayed because someone who wishes to speak cannot attend the meeting or is not called on to address the meeting.

The chairman has the discretion to allow a substitute speaker if a speaker does not attend the meeting or no speaker had previously registered to speak on an application.

Regulations that came into force on 31 July 2014 allow any person attending a public local government meeting to take photographs, film and audio-record the proceedings and report on the meeting. Please be aware that you may be filmed or photographed whilst speaking.

Will the decision be made at the meeting?

Councillors decide on most planning applications at their first hearing at the Development Committee. Some decisions may be delayed for:

  • a site inspection by Councillors
  • to obtain more information or for negotiations to take place

If the issue is reconsidered at the next meeting, you can attend and ask to speak. Please note that public speaking is not allowed at site inspections.

How are planning applications decided?

When the council receives a planning application, a notice is posted on or near the application's site.

Local Town and Parish Councils are consulted on all applications.

Written comments are welcomed on all applications. You will generally have 21 days to make your views known in writing from being told about a planning application.

The Head of Planning can determine straightforward applications, but the Development Committee considers complicated applications. If the application has to go to committee, the case officer will summarise any views given in writing as part of their report to the committee.

Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by a Local Planning Authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the Authority's permission.

The purpose of a TPO is to protect trees that make a significant impact on their local surroundings. An order is essential where trees are in immediate danger. In general, a TPO can cover all types of tree, including hedgerow trees, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. A TPO can cover anything from a single tree to woodland.

Confirmation of a TPO

When a TPO is made, the council may make an order that immediately comes into effect, but it must then be confirmed within six months. The council has delegated the making of TPOs to its officers. If an objection is made, the Development Committee has to decide whether the TPO is confirmed.

How to support or object to a TPO

If you want to object or support a TPO, write to the council within 28 days of the Order being made. Please say why, and provide details of the relevant trees. All written comments will be summarised in the report to the committee and taken into account when the committee decides whether or not the Order should be confirmed.