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Apologies for absence and declarations of interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Freeman.
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2022 were approved as accurate.
Major Appeal Briefing
To receive a verbal briefing relating to major appeals.
The Director of Planning detailed the recent and current major appeals:
The Director of Planning said that this did not indicate a failure of Planning Committee, just that the issues had been ironed out by the developer.
The Chair asked that major appeals be reported to Planning Committee to note, and also the outcome to the appeals, with links on the agenda for Members to access.
Councillor Lemon agreed that would be useful.
Councillor Loughlin asked whether solar farms counted as major applications. She said that it didn`t help not having a solar policy
The Director of Planning said it was important to feedback on solar decisions, for Officers and Members.
To receive a training update ( Verbal item)
Councillor Lemon said that solar farm training would be beneficial.
Councillor Loughlin suggested that all Members would benefit from the solar farm training. She said that she would be happy to attend virtual meetings.
The Director of Planning suggested inviting Planning Leads from Parish Councils to the training sessions.
Members agreed that would be useful.
The Chair said she would go back to Planning Committee to ask how they found asking questions before going in to debate at Planning Committee. She asked those present for their opinions.
Councillor Pavitt said that it was useful and logical. He said that he thought Members would benefit from being reminded of the process.
Councillor Loughlin agreed although she didn`t see the need for a specific slot.
Councillor Lemon said that asking questions just after the Officer was useful and more efficient.
The Development Manager said that it did not preclude asking a question before the meeting or indeed after the question, should the need arise.
The Director of Planning said that in his experience such arrangements were best practice. for He said that it provided structure, looked more professional and was a good way to run the meeting.
The Chair said that Members don`t usually ask questions of speakers.
The Director of Planning said that a number of Councils do now ask questions of Speakers who may be better able to clarify local matters. He said that it would have to be within the Constitution but could be explored if Members wished.
The Lawyer said that it would be acceptable and that the working protocol could be set into the Terms of Reference of the Planning Committee. He said that it was important to not confuse members of the public in terms of the proceedsing of the Planning Committee but that it wouldn`t be difficult to amend the Constitution if necessary.
The Director of Planning said that following on from the Stansted Airport Review Council had committed to set up a new Task and Finish Group. He said that changes to the Constitution could go to that group.
Councillor Lemon said that he wanted lunch to be reinstated for full day meetings. He also requested an update on the audio visual system.
The Director of Planning said that he would mention the audio-visual system at CMT next week.