View planning applications

2. How to have your say on planning applications

We make decisions on planning applications for these types of development:

  • Mineral working and associated processes e.g. gravel extraction and brickworks
  • Waste Management facilities e.g. landfill sites and recycling facilities
  • Our developments e.g. school buildings and new roads
  • District councils deal with other applications. Examples are home extensions, new housing, shops and offices.

Register to speak

Applications near you

  • If your home adjoins or is very near to a proposed development we will notify you.
  • We will place notices on the site or on adjacent land. The notice is to tell people:
    • an application has been made
    • where to view the application
    • the address to write to with any comments.
  • If we receive an application for a major proposal an advertisement will be placed in a local newspaper.

You can also view our applications on our Bucks Planning Public Access website.

Commenting on an application

Either email or write to us at the address given in the notification. Tell us why you feel that an application should be permitted or refused consent. We may not to take into account any representations received later than two working days before the committee meeting You may also comment online via our Bucks Planning Public Access website.

How planning applications are decided

  • Some uncontroversial applications are decided by officers. These are delegated decisions.
  • All other applications are determined by our Development Control Committee.

Speaking at a committee meeting

The committee normally meets on a Monday morning. To speak at the committee you must register your interest by 10am on the Thursday before the committee meeting. If you have requested to speak on an application we will tell you when it will be discussed at the committee. View agendas and reports.

What can I comment on?

  • National policies, eg National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) etc
  • Policies in the Development Plans (Buckinghamshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan (MWLP),
    • Buckinghamshire Minerals and Waste Core Strategy (MWCS),
    • District Local Plans,
    • District Core Strategies or successor Development Plan Documents).
    • compatibility of the development with Green Belt, Chilterns AONB, Green Space Policy etc
  • Appearance and character of the development
  • Traffic generation, highway safety and parking
  • Overshadowing, overlooking and loss of privacy
  • Noise nuisance, dust, odour, visual intrusion or other loss or amenity
  • Site layout
  • Restoration and landscape proposals

Avoid comments which are not planning matters, such as:

  • Boundary disputes, private property matters.
  • Personal remarks (eg the applicant’s motives, financial situation etc).
  • Service issues eg education policy.

You can expand on your original comments or comment on the officer’s report. It is not appropriate to introduce new arguments at this late stage in the process. The Chairman may terminate your presentation if the content is slanderous or repeats points made by another speaker.

Who is entitled to speak at the committee meeting?

  • Members of the public who have made representations on an application either in their own right or on behalf of other individuals or organisations
  • A parish/town council representative
  • The applicant or nominated agent
  • The local County Councillor

Pressure groups and residents associations can also address the committee.

Sample agenda

The planning officer will introduce the application together with any relevant update and photographs of the site

The chairman calls on objectors/supporters to speak

  • The chairman calls on the parish/town council representative to speak
  • The chairman calls on the local member to speak
  • The chairman calls on the applicant to speak
  • The planning officer addresses any points in need of clarification if required
  • Debate by members
  • The planning officer responds to members' points/questions
  • Decision

How long will I have to speak?

  • A time limit of four minutes will apply to each of the four categories of speakers:
    • the public,
    • the town/parish council,
    • the applicant,
    • a local County Councillor.
  • Where there are several members of the public wishing to speak, you will have four minutes in total between you.
    • You are encouraged to nominate a single speaker or to divide the time between yourselves.
    • Where this is not possible we will take speakers in the order of registering an intention to speak until the total time of four minutes has elapsed.
    • We allow a maximum of three speakers.
    • Democratic services officers will tell you who else has asked to address the committee. They will ask that you agree amongst yourselves how to use the allocated time.
  • Exceptionally, the chairman may allow a further three minutes. This will be at the chairman’s discretion and in the following circumstances:
  1. where more than five people have registered an interest in speaking;
  2. where there are both supporters (other than the applicant) and objectors to an application who have registered an interest in speaking.


Please report to the County Hall Central Reception in Walton Street and you will be directed to the committee room.

In the committee room please report to one of our Democratic Services Officers. They will show you where to sit, and usher you forward at the appropriate time to speak.

Please note:

Speakers will be permitted to bring extra relevant illustrative material. For example, handouts and photographs. This must have been agreed by the chairman before the meeting. There should be no more than three photographs and a brief summary of the points you wish to make. This should cover a maximum of one side of A4 paper and no more than 250 words. There will not be provision for formal presentations eg. videos, PowerPoint lectures etc.
Committee Members may ask you questions on points raised for clarification. This is not an opportunity for you to question members or join the committee debate.
Print entire guide

Last updated: 29 October 2019

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