October 28th, 2013 |
When Councillors Have To Keep Open Minds….
So it’s worth mentioning that District Councillors aren’t allowed to make their minds up in advance of the planning meeting. So none of us can say in advance how we will vote… We can say things like “I’m concerned about traffic” but can’t give a firm view. And it doesn’t matter what we’ve already said during the core strategy. For example, a councillor who has been willing through the core strategy to allow a particular green field to be built on, might still vote against a particular planning application because the details are all wrong. Whilst a Councillor who has been against an area being developed might reluctantly support an application because some junction improvements might be included.
If any district councillors do declare their views in advance, they can still speak at the planning meeting, but they won’t be able to vote. And the rules also apply if you speak before you become a councillor. Any District Council candidate who puts something in their leaflet like “I will definitely vote against this planning application” won’t be legally allowed to vote on it, even if they win…
Other councillors- Parish Coucillors or County Councillors can express a view, providing they are not District Councillors as well.