Cllr Stewart Dickson said: “Our proposals are all about protecting the public and safeguarding their interests.
“It is essential that the public have the right to appeal planning decisions, because applicants have the right of appeal when their application is refused.
“At the moment the planning system is stacked against the public because the applicant is allowed to appeal decisions and the public are not. This is wrong and is against natural justice.
“We have proposed that District Councils should have the right to allow a third party appeal where there is a weighted-majority vote in favour of it.
“No where else in the UK has a third party right of appeal on planning applications. On worldwide scale, only New Zealand has it, and Northern Ireland could show itself as a world leader in progressive planning practice by introducing this measure.
“We need to create the right circumstance to allow third party appeals, but at the same time we must also protect the applicant from unfair and unjust complaints. That is why we have suggested that for any third party appeal to take place, there must be a weighted-majority vote in the local council.”