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Speaking at planning meetings

Temporary measures during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Due to the temporary legislation (within the Coronavirus Act 2020, which allowed for use of virtual meetings) coming to an end on 6 May 2021, the council’s committee meetings will now take place in the office buildings within the John Meikle Meeting Room at the Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton. Unfortunately due to capacity requirements, the Chamber at West Somerset House is not able to be used at this current moment.  

Following the Government guidance on measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the council meeting rooms will have very limited capacity. With this in mind, we will be giving priority to those members of the public who have registered to speak to attend the meetings in person in the office buildings, if they wish (we will still be offering to those members of the public that are not comfortable in attending, the options to either join the meeting remotely via the use of Zoom to read out their statements or for their statements to be read out by a Governance and Democracy Case Manager). Please can we urge all members of the public who are only interested in listening to the debate to view our live webcasts from the safety of their own home to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The link to each webcast will be available on the planning meeting page, but you can also access them on the Somerset West and Taunton webcasting website.

Guidelines to follow

If you would like to speak at a planning meeting, you will need to submit your request to a member of the Governance Team in advance of the meeting. You can request to speak at a meeting by telephoning 01823 219735 or emailing your full name, application number and whether you are in support for or against the application along with your statement to the Governance Team using

Any requests need to be received by 5pm on the day that provides 2 clear working days before the meeting (excluding the day of the meeting itself). For example, if the meeting is due to take place on a Thursday, requests need to be received by 5pm on the Monday prior to the meeting. Please note that only written representations received by this date and time can be published and taken into consideration.

The Governance and Democracy Case Manager will take the details of your statement and will distribute them to the Committee prior to the meeting. The Chair will then invite you to speak after the Planning Officer has presented their report for the application you wish to speak on. Speaking is limited to three minutes. You can only speak to the Committee once. If there are a group of people attending to speak about a particular item then a representative should be chosen to speak on behalf of the group.

Please see above for Temporary Measures during Coronavirus Pandemic and the changes we are making to public participation.