Chichester District Council’s planning revamp

“WE CAN’T stand still in changing times, we need to change as well,” said Cllr Janet Duncton, who was the housing and planning cabinet member before she stood down last Tuesday.

And that is why the two area development management committees will now become one, under a new name – planning committee.

The role of the committees, which represent the north and south of the district, is to discuss and vote on housing development applications, and as it stands, on domestic applications which have been objected to.

Councillors agreed the move to merge the committees, and independent councillor Gordon McAra proposed the name of the committee should be changed to something simpler.

Now, the new planning committee will sit every four weeks and have 18 members.

The members on the new committee are:

Martyn Bell (Chichester West),

Peter Clementson (East Wittering),

Quentin Cox (Chichester East),

Janet Duncton (Petworth),

John Elliott (Bury),

Philippa Hardwick (Plaistow),

Robert Hayes (Southbourne),

Gordon McAra (Midhurst),

Pieter Montyn (West Wittering)

David Myers (Bosham),

Simon Oakley (Tangmere),

Henry Potter (Boxgrove),

John Ridd (Donnington),

Fred Robertson (Selsey South),

Andrew Smith (Lavant),

Julie Tassell (Funtington),

Tricia Tull (Sidlesham),

Micheal Woolley (Chichester East).

Cllr Smith was appointed the chairman of the planning committee, and Cllr Duncton is the vice-chairman.

The committee matched the political balance of the council, and is made up of 14 Conservatives, three Liberal Democrats, and one independent.

Some councillors were concerned about the fact the committee membership does not reach every area of the district.

But Cllr Duncton made it clear every councillor would have a chance to speak, even if they are not on the committee.

“Any member will be invited to speak at the public speaking, no-one will be excluded,” she said.

She also said members on the planning committee should be representing the district as a whole, rather than each separate ward, and should make decisions on that basis.