Residents in Rother will have the chance to speak at planning committee meetings under a new procedure being introduced.
For the first time, Rother District Council is allowing members of the public to speak at the monthly meetings – to support or oppose planning applications.
The council is adopting a petition system, in which people or organisations affected by an application are able to nominate a speaker if they collect 10 or more signatures.
Councillor Brian Kentfield, chairman of the planning committee, said: “Planning applications which come to committee, as opposed to being delegated to officers, tend to be those which are the larger or more controversial schemes. While residents have always had, and will continue to have, the right to submit written comments on any planning application, allowing people to speak out during the meeting will give people the chance to make their case directly to members of the committee.
“This is a system that has worked well in other parts of the country and we feel it will give local people an even stronger voice on applications which affect them.”
The new procedure will apply for applications publicised from the beginning of October, while the first opportunity to speak will be at the planning committee meeting on November 17.
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