A decision over whether to increase councillors' allowances will be made at a meeting next week.

Members of Braintree Council's planning committee are in-line to see a rise in the amount they can claim back for their work, with a 25 per cent increase recommended.

The rise has been suggested by a panel of independent experts, who have been conducting a four-year review into the allowance system at Causeway House.

The biggest increase in allowances could see the chairman of the planning committee claim a maximum of £9,852 - a rise of 100 per cent. The vice chair of the committee could also claim £7,389 if the changes are approved, have previously been unable to receive any allowances for the role.

Basic expenses for all councillors will remain capped at £4,926, however claims made for communication matters, such as the purchase of a new laptop, will now rise from £240 to £480.

Other positions which could see a rise in allowances include the chair and vice chair of the licensing committee.

A report outlining the changes to the system states: "The panel received significant representations relating to the work of the

planning committee and to a lesser extent, of the licensing committee. The planning committee has a significant role in the delivery of the council’s growth agenda, together with managing a substantial number of applications, often for sizeable developments.

"The panel had recognised that the planning committee and its members were subject to a significant workload.

"Given the number of meetings and the increasing complexity of the work - both in terms of the size and detail of applications as well as the substantial public interest in applications - the panel recommends that allowances be increased to £1,233."

Allowances for all councillors are dependent on the number of meetings they attend throughout each year. They must typically attend 75per cent of meetings and commitments to be entitled to the maximum expenses figure.

A final decision on the proposed changes to the allowance scheme will be made on Monday during a full council meeting at Causeway House.