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Planning Panelhearing appeals about planning decisions

All the info

Planning Panel

The Planning Panel is an independent body that considers appeals against planning decisions in Guernsey.

Planning decisions are made by the Development and Planning Authority. 

Examples are:

  • refusal of planning permission
  • a compliance or completion notice
  • adding a building or monument to the list of protected buildings
  • a tree protection order

Process

The Planning Panel consists of the Chair, the Vice-Chair, plus up to seven other members, some of whom are appointed as professional members and have particular experience and professional qualifications in planningrelated matters.

If a member of the public appeals against a planning decision, a Tribunal of three may be selected from the Planning Panel.  One of the members of that Tribunal is an experienced planning inspector, the other two are members of the public with relevant experience.

The Tribunal members review the appeal papers before the hearing and prepare questions to ask.

At the hearing, Tribunal members hear evidence from, and ask questions of, the person making the appeal and also the planning officers from the Development and Planning Authority.

The Tribunal members make a decision based on the evidence, facts and material which was before the Development and Planning Authority when it made its decision.

The Chair of the Tribunal writes up the decision and the other members review it before it is sent to both parties in the case.

Responsibilities

As a member of the Planning Panel, you will be:

  • Analysing documents and examining evidence carefully and impartially
  • Listening to, and questioning, both parties in the case
  • Working as a team to make a decision
  • Reviewing a written summary of your conclusions

Recruitment process

From time to time, the Planning Panel will advertise for new members to replace someone who has stepped down.

You will be asked to submit you CV and a covering letter and, if shortlisted, you will be interviewed by a member of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure and Panel members.

The names of successful candidates will be submitted by the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure to the States of Deliberation for approval.

Appointments are for six years but you can resign by giving notice in writing before the end of your term.

Exclusions

There are a number of jobs that exclude you from being a member of the Planning Panel, including a States Deputy or having worked for the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure.

There is a full list of exclusions in section 1 of the 2016 Annual Report of the Planning Panel.

Skills

You do not have to have a detailed understanding of current planning legislation and policy when you apply but you will be required to study the legislation to increase your understanding.

As a lay member of the Panel, it would be helpful to have a relevant professional background eg construction or property management.  But you might also simply have a strong personal interest in the development of the Island.
 
As with all tribunals, you will need to enjoy studying and interpreting complex information, in both written and verbal form, to pinpoint the key facts of the case.
 
You will need excellent communication and interpersonal skills as you will be asking questions of, and listening to, a wide variety of people.
 
You will need to make balanced, open-minded, unbiased decisions, taking into account relevant legislation and previous tribunal decisions.
 
You will be working as part of a team but you will need to make up your own mind and be able to persuade and challenge others without being confrontational.
 

Support

You will be supported by the Panel Secretary who will schedule meetings, prepare paperwork and answer any questions you may have.  You will also be supported by the Chair and Vice-Chair and the other members of the Panel.

Training

You will receive two separate days of training, each held at a time during the week that is convenient to those being trained.

The training will cover the skills needed by tribunal members generally, plus specific knowledge relating to planning legislation and policy in Guernsey.

 

Time commitment

The time commitment varies but most cases require you to be able to commit to half a day of pre-reading, a day for the hearing itself and another day to review the draft decision.

The Panel receives between 20 and 25 appeals per year and, of these cases, between 12 to 15 lead to a hearing.

As only three members of the nine-person Panel sit on each Tribunal, you will not be needed for every hearing.

Remuneration

You may claim £76 per half day, which includes the time taken to prepare for the hearing, the hearing itself and reviewing the written decision.

Reasonable expenses will be paid, including transport from other islands in the Bailiwick.

Rewards

You will be part of a fair and transparent process which allows the Guernsey public to appeal against planning decisions in an accessible and affordable way.

You will be asked to consider a wide variety of cases and will develop a deeper understanding of planning issues in Guernsey

Downsides

Some cases can be very complex and detailed.

More information

Go to www.gov.gg/planningpanel for detailed information about the Planning Panel including an archive of previous tribunal decisions, annual reports and contact details for the Secretary of the Panel.

Guernsey Press article: Tribunal backs DPA over historic windows

Download this information

To turn all of this information about the Planning Panel into a PDF, click the ‘download info as PDF’ button on the right of this page.

Corrections

This description of the role of a member of the Planning Panel has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers.  If you spot an error, please do let us know by emailing hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

If you have a question about being on the Planning Panel that isn’t answered on this page, email us at hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.  We’ll research the answer and then publish it here to help inform others who might be curious about the same thing.

In brief…

If someone appeals against a planning decision, a Tribunal of three may be selected from the Planning Panel

One member of the Panel is an experienced planning inspector, the other two are members of the public with relevant experience.

The Tribunal makes a decision based on the evidence, facts and material which was before the Development and Planning Authority when it made its decision.

From time to time, the Planning Panel will advertise for new members to replace someone who has stepped down. Appointments are for six years.

As a lay member of the Panel, it would be helpful to have a relevant professional background in, say, construction or property management. But you might also simply have a strong personal interest in the development of the Island.

As with all tribunals, you will need to enjoy studying and interpreting complex information to pinpoint the key facts of the case.

The time commitment varies but most cases need half a day of pre-reading, a day for the hearing itself and another day to review the draft decision.

As only three members of the nine-person Panel sit on each Tribunal, you will not be needed for every hearing.  There are 12 to 15 hearings a year.

 

There’s much more…

To read about the Planning Panel in detail, click the ‘download info as pdf’ button below.  Or change over to a laptop or tablet.