View and comment on a planning application

Public speaking at Planning Committee

If you have commented on a planning application and wish to speak at Planning Committee,

Guidance for members of the public and applicants

Most applications do not have to be considered by the Planning Committee. For those applications that do require Committee approval, in some circumstances there is an opportunity for members of the public and applicants to speak at the committee meeting.

Planning Committee meetings are normally on a Wednesday evening, in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre at 6.30 pm and Committee dates and agenda are available on the Council's website.

If at least three people have written objecting to a planning application, which is recommended for approval by Officers, and you are one of those people you may be able to speak to explain your reasons for objecting and the process is outlined below.

If you are one of the objectors

  • You must make a written request to register to speak
  • This must be done in writing (including by email) for the attention of The Head of Planning (
  • Your request must be received after the agenda has been published on the Councils website and the request to speak must be received at the latest by midday on the Monday before the Planning Committee
  • You must state which planning application you want to speak about (application number and address), your name, address and contact number
  • Only one objector is allowed to speak about each application. If several people have registered to speak then you should decide between you who is going to represent everyone, but you will need to make this known before or at the meeting. If you cannot agree who should speak, the Chairman will call whoever lodged the first written request to speak. In this case, no-one else will be allowed to speak unless the first person waives his or her right in favour of the next in line.

If you are the applicant

If any requests are received to speak about your application, the Council’s planning staff will contact you or your agent (using the details on the application form submitted) to inform you.

The applicant (or the Agent representing the applicant) can only speak at committee if an objector has spoken at committee. For clarification – if the proposed speaker (objector) decides not to speak or does not turn up in the evening then you (as the applicant or agent) will not be able to speak to the Planning Committee; the applicant is limited to “a right of reply” only.

The applicant (or the Agent representing the applicant) does not have to speak in support of the application; this is the choice of the applicant/agent.

All speakers (objectors and applicants/agent) must adhere to the following criteria:

  • You can only speak about a single application, unless the Chairman allows you to speak about another application (because it is linked to another application)
  • You may appoint a representative to speak on your behalf • You must only speak about the planning application the Committee is considering
  • You will have a maximum of five minutes to address the Committee • You cannot ask questions or get the Committee or Officers into discussion. The Chairman might ask for clarification of something you have said but will not otherwise comment.
  • The Members of the Committee will have had an opportunity to examine in full all the application documentation. Additional Documentation – letters, notes, plans, diagrams, photographs, PowerPoint or other form of audio visual etc should not be circulated at or prior to the meeting as councillors will not have the opportunity to review them. The Members of the Planning Committee will then consider the application and no further participation by objectors or the applicant is allowed.

Other matters

Normally when interested parties attend, those items of the interest are taken first to avoid the public having to wait. This is not however possible for those who arrive after the meeting has begun. Therefore anyone who is to address the Committee should arrive in good time and make themselves known to the Clerk of the Committee.

The minutes of the meeting will record who spoke at the meeting but need not record their content.

Contact us

Planning Business Centre, Runnymede Borough Council, Runnymede Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 2AH

Telephone: 01932 425131

For public speaking at Planning Committee:

General enquires: meetings are normally on a Wednesday evening, in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre at 6.30pm. Agendas are available to view one week before the committee date. You can also view previous agendas and minutes.

Get in touch about planning

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.