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Neighbourhood planning groups given right to speak at development control meetings

Neighbourhood planning groups given right to speak at development control meetings

Simon Meechan

Neighbourhood planning groups will be given the right to speak at crucial planning meetings in a six-month trial approved by borough councillors

The proposal means legally-constituted resident planning groups will be able to speak for up to two minutes at development control panel meetings - where building projects are rubberstamped or thrown out by the council.

The trial was approved by The Royal Borough's planning and housing overview and scrutiny panel on Monday.

Only groups in areas that have approved neighbourhood plans will benefit from the right. So far only Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale have had their neighbourhood plans adopted by the Royal Borough.

This means that both the relevant parish council and neighbourhood groups will each get two minutes to speak, while the applicant and objectors get three minutes.

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot and Cheapside) raised concerns that applicants may feel 'shortchanged' in speaking time, as objecting groups could potentially be given seven minutes under the new rules.

The meeting took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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