Coronavirus and Development Management Committee Meetings

Committee meetings are usually once every four weeks on Wednesdays, starting at 7.00pm. They're usually held in the Council Chamber, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford. However, due to the restrictions arising from coronavirus, starting in April 2020 and until further notice, the meetings will be held by video conference.

You cannot therefore attend these meetings in person at present, but can watch the live streaming of the meetings, and you can still make representations.

Meeting will be streamed live via the East Herts Council YouTube channel.

Meeting format

The committee chairman introduces each item. There is a short explanation by the planning officer, whose report will contain a recommendation to approve or refuse the application. The committee doesn't have to follow the recommendation.

Public representations

Then it's time for the public representations by members of the public and parish/town councillors. Even though no members of the public can attend in person, they may still submit representations. Please note that you may supply representations as an audio or visual file, but we also require a written transcript (that is, it must be same as your audio/video recording) so that we can use that as a back up if necessary. The representations will either be played to the Committee as a recording or read out by an officer. Representations from objectors are first, followed by those of supporters. The committee will discuss the matter and may have questions for the planning officer.

No additional information can be circulated at the committee (photos, notes etc).

What happens next?

In most cases the committee will then make a decision. Sometimes they might defer a decision if they feel they need more information.

If this happens you won't be able to make any more representations unless the proposals change significantly in the meantime and new issues are raised.

In all cases where there is any question as to the arrangements about the representations - the chairman of the committee will make a decision that will be binding on everyone.

How long can my representations be?

There is one 3 minute time slot for people wishing to submit representations in support of an application and one 3 minute slot for objectors. This means that it should take no more than 3 minutes for a written representation to be read out on your behalf, or that if you are sending in a recording, that you speak on that recording for only up to 3 minutes. If more than one person wishes to submit representations either for or against, we'll ask you to send in a single joint representation.

If the planning application relates to a district plan strategic site, the time permitted for representation slots is 6 minutes.

Very occasionally and at the discretion of the committee chairman, more than one submitted representation will be allowed (either in support or in objection) but the time limit will still be 3 minutes.

When you register to make representations you'll be asked to confirm whether you will send a recording of yourself speaking plus emailed written transcript of your recording or whether you will be sending in just an emailed written representation. You will also be asked for permission that we can give your details to anyone else who may later register to do so. If there are multiple requests on the same matter you'll need to co-ordinate with the others to submit a single representation. The council can't do this for you. If you don't coordinate your responses, no one might be allowed to send in a representation at all.

If more than one person registers by the deadline we will let you know. You will then need to telephone us by 12 noon on the day of the meeting to confirm who will submit your single representation.

In addition to one person submitting representations each for and against the application, there is also provision for the local Town or Parish Council to submit a representation on the application for 3 minutes (6 minutes if a strategic site).

What can I submit representations about?

You can refer to any of the applications mentioned. Representations are not permitted on enforcement cases.

Most applications are decided by planning officers and are not submitted to the Development Management Committee so they are not part of this scheme.

The Development Management Committee can only make decisions based on planning issues. These include the council's planning policies and matters that could affect everybody. Generally, matters that are strictly private, for example the impact of development on the view from your house, or on its value, cannot be taken into account. So your time is used most effectively when you speak about relevant planning issues, the best presentations deal clearly with the planning impacts of any proposal, stating your views and being clear as to whether what you're saying is opinion or fact. If you wish to raise questions these are best dealt with beforehand by talking to a planning officer.

The committee is a public meeting so please be courteous and polite in your submitted representation as you would at any similar public place.

How do I register to submit a representation?

Once the agenda for each meeting is finalised, generally at least a week beforehand, it will be put on the council's website and from there, you can then use the linked form within the agenda to register your wish to submit a representation. You can view the Development Management Committee Meeting Schedule online. The deadline is 5pm on the Monday before the meeting. Contact can be by email to democratic.services@eastherts.gov.uk or telephone to 01279 502174.