We deal with approximately 2,000 planning applications every year. Officers deal with 90% under powers granted to them by our scheme of delegation. The Planning Committee (DMC) decides the remaining 10%.

Straightforward applications are determined by the executive head of Spatial Planning under Delegated Powers providing the decision is in accordance with Local Plan policies. However, there are certain types of applications that must be determined by the DMC. These include major or complex developments, most schemes where Torbay Council are the applicant and applications that are referred to the committee. Where an application is scheduled for committee it will be considered at the first available monthly meeting.

The DMC consists of nine locally elected Councillors reflecting our political balance and usually meets every four weeks on a Monday at 2pm. All the information about the committee including agendas is available on the Planning Committee page.

If you wish to know if an application is scheduled for committee then please view the application on Planning Online where the committee date will be entered in the 'Actual Committee Date' field in the 'Further Information - Important Dates' tab. If no date is shown then the application has either not been delegated to committee or the committee date has not yet been set for that application. You can also view the agenda, minutes, reports and decisions of meetings on the Planning Committee Meetings page.

Senior Officers from Spatial Planning, Legal and Governance Support attend the meeting to assist and advise the Committee. Other specialist officers may attend from time to time in relation to specific applications.

Should you wish to speak about a particular application, you need to register your intention to do so by telephoning the Governance Support Office on (01803) 207087 at least three hours before the start of the meeting.

With only five minutes to put your point across, it helps to focus on relevant planning issues. These can include: the suitability of the site for the proposed development; its design, appearance and layout; highway safety and traffic issues: the effect on residential traffic issues; the effect on residential amenities/living conditions; noncompliance with planning policy and Government guidance.

Issues that cannot be taken into account include matters covered by other laws (e.g. a liquor licence); private property rights (e.g. boundary or access disputes and covenants); personal remarks (e.g. the applicant’s motives); the effect on the value of the property; possible future development; and the loss of views over other people’s land.

You must not:

  • Make statements of a personal or slanderous nature
  • Be abusive or

You may support your verbal representation at the Planning Committee with an electronic visual presentation.  If you wish to have your presentation shown you must email your presentation to the Planning Department (planning@torbay.gov.uk) two clear working days prior to the meeting to enable the presentation to include in the meetings overall presentation.  The presentation will be shared by the Planning Officer and you will not be able to share your own screen.

The Committee has an agenda, which includes individual planning applications. Reports on these are prepared by the Planning Officers and provide recommendations to the Committee. Members of the Committee will also have visited a number of the sites prior to the meeting.

There are a small number of agendas available at the Committee for members of the public.

Agenda items may not be dealt with in the order that they appear. Applications for which members of the public are present are usually dealt with first. It is extremely important, therefore, that when you arrive in the Committee Room you advise the Governance Support Officer of the application you are interested in and whether you are attending as an applicant, a supporter of, or an objector to, an application.  All speakers will be expected to provide their names to the Governance Support Officer. We advise you to prepare what you want to say in advance.

  1. The Chairman of the Committee will briefly introduce each planning application by referring to the page of the agenda on which it can be found, the application reference and location.
  2. The Planning Officer will then highlight points of particular importance. A slideshow presentation will normally be displayed at this point of the proceedings showing details of the site and relevant plans.
  3. Objectors comments:
    The objector, or a representative of the objectors (if more than one is present), will then be invited to the table to address the Committee for a maximum of five minutes. Only one person will normally be allowed to speak against the proposal.
  4. Comments made by representatives of Brixham Town Council (including as Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Forum) or Torquay or Paignton Neighbourhood Forums:
    The representative from the relevant Neighbourhood Forum, if registered, will then be invited to the table to address the Committee for a maximum of five minutes.
  5. Applicants comments:
    The applicant, agent, their representative or a supporter will then be invited to address the Committee. The same limitations regarding the time limits and the number of speakers etc. in point 3. will apply.
  6. Ward Councillors comments:
    Any Ward Councillor who is not a member of the Committee will then be allowed to address the meeting about the planning application being considered.
  7. Members of the Committee will then ask questions of the officers and will then discuss the planning application. They will then make a decision to approve, refuse or, if appropriate, defer the application for further information or a site visit. If the application is deferred for a site visit it will be carried out before the next meeting of the Committee.

If you wish to know the decisions made on applications considered by committee we advise you to use Planning Online to track the progress of the application as the online details will be updated once the decision has been made.

The minutes of the Planning Committee will be available five working days before the next meeting of the Committee at our Connection Offices in Paignton, the four libraries in Torbay or on the Planning Committee page.

The applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if their application is refused, of if conditions are imposed that they do not agree with. In this event, anyone who has written about the original application will be informed in writing. Third parties, for example objectors, cannot appeal to the Inspectorate about a decision to grant permission.

We are aware of our obligation under the Disability Discrimination and Race Relations Acts and therefore you should telephone the Governance Support Offices on (01803) 207087 to advise them in advance of the meeting of any special requirements that you may have.

The decision will now be made and issued.

Find out more about what must be considered when a planning application is decided upon.