Westminster set to give public ‘more say’ on big schemes

Evelyn House

Residents allowed to speak at committee meetings - as officers given more powers

Westminster city council is to give residents a bigger say in the determination of major planning applications by allowing them to speak at committee meetings for the first time in decades.

Council leader Nickie Aiken said the change, which is aimed at boosting participation and transparency, would come into force next month and give residents a direct opportunity to offer their opinions in decision-making meetings. Currently residents’ views on schemes must be relayed via a councillor.

The measure follows a review of the way Westminster determines planning applications that was conducted by the Planning Advisory Service (PAS), which offers support to councils and is part of the Local Government Association.

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