Planning committee meetings at Preston City Council are to be shaken up.Advertisement
Councillors are to meet to discuss planning applications on a Thursday lunchtime, and 12 of them will sit on the committee – reduced from 16.
The meeting is one of the most contentious council meetings of the month, and Town Hall sources have indicated the current administration is becoming frustrated with decisions taken in recent months by the committee.
Preston faces pressure to build thousands of new homes and the North West Preston Masterplan and the Preston Local Plan is in the process of making its way through the legal process – but in the meantime developers have been slinging in planning applications, leaving councillors on the committee regularly overturning planning officers recommendations.
Councillors are also not getting enough time to read paperwork, currently meetings are held on a Monday morning, and at one meeting in late 2014 it ended up being adjourned because of late submissions by applications – which can’t be processed until first-thing Monday morning. This has seen planning meetings running on for six hours or more.
Another meeting saw a number of councillors storm out for the hearing of one application claiming they couldn’t come to a decision due to a lack of information.
Independent councillor for Deepdale Terry Cartwright has voiced his objections to the changes, which were approved at a recent full council meeting.
The next planning committee meeting will be 1.30pm on Thursday 4 June at the Town Hall.
What do you think about the changes? Have you ever attended a planning committee? Let us know in the comments below