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

The Council gives members of the public the opportunity to request to speak at Development Committee meetings. In order to keep the meetings to a manageable length we allow one objector and one supporter to speak on each application. (Different rules apply for ‘major’ applications - see below).

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

How can I have my say at Development Committee?

Members of the public, including agents, who wish to request to speak on a planning application at Development Committee must call the Customer Services Team on 01263 516150 from 8:30am following the publication of the Committee Agenda.

The period of registration is strictly between 8:30am on the day of the publication of the Development Committee Agenda on our website and 9am on the Tuesday prior to the Thursday Development Committee.

The Development Committee Agenda is published on the Council’s website one week prior to the meeting which is usually held on a Thursday.

If a Development Committee meeting is switched to a Wednesday (or other day) members of the public wishing to speak must register their interest by 9am two working days prior to the meeting date.

Anyone requesting to speak prior to the publication of the Agenda on our website will be advised to call back once the Agenda has been made public.

When contacting the Council requesting to speak at a Committee you are asked to provide the following information:

  • Full name.
  • Email address and telephone number.
  • The application on which you wish to speak and whether you support or object to the application.
  • Confirmation that you are happy for your contact details to be shared with other members of the public requesting to speak on the same application.

In order 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 on their application however if the applicant does not request to speak then 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 if requesting to speak or the first person registered to speak to appoint a spokesperson and in the event that no agreement can be reached, the slot will be allocated to the applicant or on a first come first served basis.

In the case of major applications, or those in which the Council has legal interest or is the landowner, up to four objectors will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes each; in these cases up to four supporters will be allowed to speak for an equivalent time in total to that allowed for the objectors.

This process enables a list of speakers to be assembled and the Agenda ordered in advance, and this information circulated to key Officers at the meeting. This will assist with the smooth running of the Committee and enable other key Officers to support the Chairman with this role.

If you wish additional information or photographs to be considered at Committee you need to submit the items to the Case Officer before 9.00am on the Tuesday before Committee on the Thursday. This will then enable Officers to include it at the end of their presentation, so any photographs etc. can be displayed on the main screen. Only information provided by this deadline will be permitted at the Committee.

What happens when my item is considered?

  • The officer makes his or her report, adding to, updating and illustrating the written report already circulated to Committee members and the officer will include at the end of their presentation additional information or photographs provided by the public.
  • The Chairman will invite the Town or Parish Council representative to speak for up to three minutes
  • 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 to speak for up to three minutes
  • The applicant (or a representative or supporter, if present) will then be invited to speak – also for up to three minutes
  • In the case of ‘major’ applications, or those in which the Council has legal interest or is the landowner, up to four objectors will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes each; in these cases up to four supporters will be allowed to speak for an equivalent time in total to that allowed for the objectors
  • The local District Councillor(s), if present, will be invited to speak
  • The Councillors who make up the Committee will then debate the matter (and may ask for further information from the officer or from the public speakers) before coming to a decision

What can I say at the meeting?

Please make your comments on the application itself and the relevant planning issues which may be taken into consideration in reaching a decision. These include:

  • Planning policy including the Local Development Framework, Government guidance, case law, previous decisions of the Council
  • Design, appearance and 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 or a conservation area, public rights(s) of way, highway safety and traffic

The following are not ‘relevant planning issues’ and we cannot take them into account in reaching a decision:

  • 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 disallow any comment if it is inappropriate, abusive, indecent, discriminatory, frivolous, irrelevant or otherwise unacceptable. You will not be allowed to distribute photographs or illustrations at the meeting, nor play audio or video recordings.


  • 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
  • Consideration of an application will not be delayed simply because someone who wishes to speak is unable to attend the meeting, or is not called on to address the meeting
  • The Chairman has discretion whether 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 which 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.

When and where are the Committee Meetings held?

Meetings are normally held every four weeks in the Council Chamber of the NNDC offices in Cromer, on a Thursday morning, commencing at 9.30am.

How can I find out when an application will be considered?

The Agendas are published on our website at least five days before each meeting at the Council Offices, Cromer.

You can also telephone the Customer Services Team on 01263 516150 for the date of the meeting when the application is likely to be considered.

It is possible that Development Committee Agenda’s may change before the Committee meets therefore it is advisable to check our website or call a few days before the meeting to check that the application is still on the agenda.

Will the decision be made at the meeting?

Most planning applications considered by Councillors are decided at their first hearing at the Development Committee. However, some decisions may be:

  • Deferred for a site inspection by Councillors
  • Deferred for more information to be obtained, or for negotiations to take place

You can attend and ask to speak again when the issue is reconsidered at the next Committee meeting but 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 close to the site to which the application relates.

Local Town and Parish Councils are consulted on all applications.

Written comments are welcomed on all applications.

From being told about a planning application, you will normally have 21 days to make your views known in writing.

The Head of Planning can determine straightforward applications but applications which are more complicated are considered by the Development Committee. If the application has to go to Committee any views given in writing will be summarised as part of the officer’s report to Committee.

Confirmation of 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 which make a significant impact on their local surroundings. This is particularly important where trees are in immediate danger. In general all types of tree can be covered by a TPO, including hedgerow trees, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. A TPO can cover anything from a single tree to woodland.

When a TPO is made the Council may make an Order which comes into effect immediately but it must then be confirmed within six months. The Council has delegated the making of TPOs to its officers but if an objection is made the decision on whether or not a TPO should be confirmed has to be made by the Development Committee.

If you wish to object to or express support for a TPO, please write to the Council within 28 days of the Order being made, saying why and giving details of the relevant tree(s). 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.

Last updated: 7th August 2019