What does the planning committee do?

The following information about the planning committee can be found via the following links:

The planning committee guide and the planning committee chairman's welcome letter can both be viewed in the downloads section of this page and gives more detailed information on the planning committee process and public speaking at committee meetings.

What does the planning committee do?

The planning committee makes decisions on about 5% of the planning applications received. All other applications are decided by the Director of Planning and Regeneration under delegated powers. The planning committee will make a decision on applications:

  • For all households and other applications, the trigger for committee will be 10 letters or more contrary to the officer recommendation;
  • For all Major and Minor applications the trigger for committee will be 20 letters or more contrary to the officer recommendation;
  • large scale applications submitted by Guildford Borough Council, for example redevelopment of an existing site or provision of new housing. Small scale and minor schemes will be dealt with under delegated powers;
  • that a councillor or a council employee has made, or when the applicant is related to a councillor or council employee;
  • that the Director of Planning and Regeneration asks the committee to decide; or
  • that a councillor asks the committee to decide for planning reasons.

The agenda for the meeting contains reports on each item referred compiled by officers which will include the recommendation along with any condition or reasons for refusal. The reports are available for Members to review prior to the meeting along with the relevant plans and other information within the file. Officers will carry out a brief presentation for each item which may include relevant plans of the development and photographs of the site.

Who is on the committee?
The planning committee is made up of 15 borough councillors. A further 13 councillors are named as substitute members. The email address to send an message to all members of the Planning Committee is: Planningcommitteemembers@guildford.gov.uk .

When and where do planning committee meetings take place?
Planning Committee meetings normally take place every four weeks. Meetings are normally on Wednesday evenings and start at 7pm.  Occasionally there are special meetings to discuss major or strategic major applications.

Agendas are published five working days before a meeting and free copies are available at each committee meeting as well as on the website. Minutes are available on the website shortly after the meeting.

Can anyone attend a planning committee meeting?
Any member of the public can attend the planning committee meetings and listen to the discussions about applications and other public issues on the public part of the agenda. In certain situations, you can ask to speak at a committee meeting about a planning application you're interested in. If you would like to speak, you will need to have arranged this with us before the meeting please refer to our planning committee guide for further information.