Planning and Highways Committee

Updated 14.07.22

The members of the Planning & Highways Committee are all councillors who represent the various wards of the borough of Blackburn With Darwen.

The committee meets every month and determines planning applications for certain major developments and others where objections have been received (under the Chair Referral, or Member referral process). See the Scheme of delegation to Planning & Highways Committee in the Council constitution for further information.

In all cases the committee will visit the site where the development is proposed prior to considering the application. These visits are for the members of the committee only assisted by the Planning Manager, and no representations can be made to the members on the visit. Presently, site visits are suspended due to the current COVID19 restrictions.

Attending committee meetings

Committee meeting details

You are welcome to attend the committee meeting.

If you want to speak at the meeting, please download the form from the documents section below then complete and return the form.

This will need to be completed no later than one day prior to the meeting taking place.

The committee meeting starts at 18:30 in the Old Town Hall, Blackburn, but please arrive by 18:15 so that the chairman can outline how the meeting will be conducted to those who wish to speak.

The majority of decisions are determined by the Strategic Director of Place under the Council's adopted Scheme of delegation having due regard to the comments received, and both national and local policies.

All applications for extensions to domestic properties are determined by this process unless an application is referred to the Committee under the Ward Member Referral or Chair Referral processes. Please see the Scheme of delegation to Planning & Highways Committee in the Council constitution for further information.

Blackburn with Darwen Ward Member referral scheme

The purpose of the Ward Member Referral Scheme is to provide a mechanism to allow all the Members of a Ward/ A Ward Member to request that a delegated planning application, within their Ward, is referred to the next available Committee meeting for determination.

Notification of new planning applications

Ward Members are notified by email as soon as a new planning application has been registered in their ward. The email includes details of the application and the case officer. If a Ward Member, on considering the delegated application within his Ward, wishes to request that it be determined by Committee then a Ward Member Referral Form ( MR2) will need to be complete and sent to the case officer within 21 days of the email notification to avoid undue delay in determining the planning application.

Making a request to refer an application

Before deciding on whether to make a request to refer an application Members are advised to contact the case officer at any time during the process to discuss the case. The case officer will be available to advise on the development proposal, any comments received and likely timetable for public consultation and for issuing the Decision Notice.

If a request to refer a planning application is to be made it must be signed by the majority of Members in a Ward/by a Ward Member and relate to a planning application in that Ward. If an application site boundary cross two ward boundaries, the request can be made by the majority in one of the wards.

The request to refer the planning application must be made in writing or emailed by using the Ward Member Request To Refer Form ( MR2), a copy of which is available to download from the documents section below. This sets out the criteria under which the request to refer is being made and the reasons for the request. Advice and clarification can be sought from the case officer to assist the completion of the form. The form should then be submitted to the address listed before the end of the 21 day consultation period. Failure to submit the form within the time period will mean the application will be determined as a delegated application in the normal way.

If a planning application has been refused planning permission or been withdrawn within 12 months of the date of the referral request, it can only be considered for referral at the discretion of the Chair of the Planning & Highways Committee.

Send form to:

Considering a Request to Refer an Application

The request to refer an application will be presented to the Chair & Vice Chair of the Planning & Highways Committee at the first available opportunity following receipt of the form. The Chair will consider the points raised having consulted the Planning Manager, and the single largest opposition party’s speaker on Planning. The Chair will then decide whether to accept or reject the request. The reasons for the decision will be sent to all the Members of a Ward/ the Ward Member alongside their original request for their information.

At the request of the Ward Councillor(s) who have made the referral, a site visit will be arranged with the Chair, Opposition Spokeperson, planning case officer and/or Planning Manager, to discuss the issued raised in the referral request.

If accepted, the planning application will go before the next available Planning & Highways Committee along with the Ward Member Request to Refer Form for information. If rejected, the application will be determined under delegated powers in the normal way.


Copies of all such referral requests will be retained and monitored for evaluation purposes.