Campaign win! Council’s undemocratic 3 minute speaking rule thrown out
Just 3 minutes.
That is the TOTAL time that was to be allowed for ALL objectors to speak according to proposed new rules for the new Somerset Council, Unitary Authority planning committees after 1st April.
Just 3 minutes in total for everyone who is worried about an unsuitable development to have their voice heard. We thought this was undemocratic, unfair & unworkable.
Local communities need to be able to voice their varying opinions alongside specialists and groups like CPRE Somerset. Allowing only 3 minutes for all views was a ludicrous proposal. We were unable to find any example of a planning authority anywhere in the country that requires all the individuals who are objecting to share a single three minute speaking time! We feared the new Somerset Council was in a race for the bottom!
We spoke out against this plan at County Hall on 30th January – here’s what we said.
The Council said they would look at the plans again and present an amended version to the next meeting on 14th February 2023. To our horror, the papers submitted for that meeting showed no changes to the proposals. So, off we went again to County Hall and here is what we said this time:
Happily, we were not alone and there were many others speaking out against these proposals – including some local Councillors.