Shepway DC have a Planning Code of Good Practice which is based on the Local Government Association’s Guidance Note. You can read it in appendix 1 on the link below.
Worth having a read of the whole document but these paragraphs are particularly interesting:
“Don’t fetter your discretion and therefore your ability to participate in planning decision making at this Council by making up your mind, or clearly appearing to have made up your mind (particularly in relation to an external interest or lobby group), on how you will vote on any planning matter prior to formal consideration of the matter at the meeting of the planning authority and of your hearing the officer’s presentation
and evidence and arguments on both sides.
Fettering your discretion in this way and then taking part in the decision will put the Council at risk of a finding of maladministration and of legal proceedings on the grounds of there being a danger of bias or predetermination or a failure to take into account all of the factors enabling the proposal to be considered on its merits.
• Do be aware that you are likely to have fettered your discretion where the Council is the landowner, developer or applicant and you have acted as, or could be perceived as being, a chief advocate for the proposal. (This is more than a matter of membership of both the proposing and planning determination committees, but that through your significant personal involvement in preparing or advocating the proposal you will be, or perceived by the public as being, no longer able to act impartially or to determine the proposal purely on its
planning merits.) “
” Don’t decide or discuss how to vote on any application at any sort of political group meeting, or lobby any other Member to do so.Political Group Meetings should never dictate how Members should vote on a planning issue.”