Publicity and consultation
How we consult on planning applications
We are legally required to publicise all planning applications and therefore take a number of steps to publicise the receipt of applications. These include notifying adjoining neighbours and neighbours we consider may be affected by the development, placing site notices where details of land ownership is not available, publishing press notices, and notifying Parish Councils.
Search and view applications
Our online search and view planning applications facility allows you to view the details of applications received from 1990 onwards and associated documentation of those applications submitted since 1 January 2005.
How to comment on planning applications
Comments can be made by anyone whether in support of, objecting to, or expressing a general view on an application, although comments relating to 'material planning considerations' can only be taken into account.
Representations should relate to the proposed development and any comments of a personal nature against an individual / group or containing offensive content will be returned to the sender. Representations without a name or address will not be considered.
You are advised to view the details of the application and plans before submitting any opinions.
You have 24 days to comment on an application from the date notification was made and can only comment on an application that has not yet had a decision.
How we use the information
Comments on planning applications form part of the statutory register and the local planning authority has a duty to make this information available. The Council will therefore publish on its website a copy of your comments including your name & address.
Comments you make must include your name and address but do not include any personal information such as your telephone number, mobile number or signature. When submitting comments by email you are advised to send them as an attachment to the email if you wish to avoid publication of your email address.
We may be required to release your comments to the Planning Inspectorate for use during planning appeals that have been lodged with them. The Planning Inspectorate may publish your comments in full on their website.
How we will safeguard the information
The information you provide will be will be kept in a secure office environment and will be held on computer databases that can only be accessed by authorised members of council staff.
All staff undergo training and understand the importance of data protection. Access to the Council's systems is via password control so that only people who need to access your information in order to provide Council services are able to.
For further information about this notice or how we use your personal data please see:
Hard copies are available on request.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Council is required under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to pass on certain information if requested by third parties or government departments unless the Act allows us to withhold that information.
There are a number of ways you can comment on planning applications.
Via the Search & View facility. Enter the application reference into the Search field. Click the Search button and select the Comments Tab.
Please note that comments submitted via this method are limited to a maximum of 4000 characters.
In PDF format attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org (enables you to submit additional information with your comments such as photographs, plans, etc). Please make sure you provide the application reference and address of the proposal.
What is a valid objection?
We can only take into account 'material planning considerations' when considering your comments. The list below is not exhaustive, but is designed to show the most common examples:
- Loss of light/overshadowing
- Loss of privacy/overshadowing
- Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)
- Adequacy of parking/loading/turning
- Highway safety
- Noise and disturbance resulting from use
- Hazardous materials
- Traffic generation
- Loss of trees
- Road access
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
- Design, appearance and materials
- Conflict with planning policies
- Disabled access
- Nature conservation
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
- Proposals/policies in the development plan
What cannot be considered?
We cannot take into account matters which are not planning considerations. Again, the list below is not exhaustive but includes:
- Loss of property value
- Private disputes between neighbours
- Loss of a view
- Impact during construction
- Restrictive covenants
- Fence lines
- Personal morals or views about the application
- Ownership disputes over rights of way
- Boundary disputes
- Applicants motives
- Loss of trade and competitors
Taking your views into account
All letters of representation will be given full consideration in the determination of the application. It is not possible for our officers to respond to questions or comments raised in individual letters or become involved in exchanges of correspondence. However, your comments will be given consideration in the assessment of the application. You can view the case officer's report (online or at the Council offices) which will set out the relevant planning policies and summarise the comments received. The officer's report will enable you to understand the basis on which the decision was made.
The officer’s report and the decision notice will contain any details of conditions that have been placed on the approval or the reasons for refusal of the application. If the application is to be decided by the Planning Committee your views will be included in the report for them to consider. At committee, there is an opportunity for a limited number of parties to address the Members.
- Download more information about public speaking at the Planning Committee (PDF 19kb)
Notifying you of a decision
You will not normally be notified of the decision on an application, however you can view a full list of decisions using our Search and View facility.
Only the applicant can appeal against the decision. If an appeal is made and you commented on the earlier application you will be notified and invited to write to the Planning Inspectorate with your comments. Any previous comments are passed on to the Inspector.