Comment on an application
If you wish to comment on a planning application you can do so using the Public Access Website or write into us at Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY. When making your comments you should specify your reasons. Letters, online comments and emails are not acknowledged but will be added to the application's file which can be viewed on the Public Access website. The case officer will note your representation in the report and have regard to the points you have raised in their assessment of the application.
Guidance for submitting comments
When submitting petitions, please provide the contact name, address and telephone number of the person to be notified of the date of Committee meeting - only the petitioner's representative and the applicant will be told when the application will go before the Planning Committee.
The original petition (not photocopies) must be submitted with the application number, application address and reasons for objection set out clearly on each page of the petition and the dates of Planning Committee meetings can be viewed on the Committees and meetings area of the moderngov website and are available 5 working days before the meeting takes place.
Any representations received will become public documents and will also be published on the internet. Signatures, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers will be redacted but requests for confidentiality cannot be accepted.
In most circumstances, the Council will notify neighbours of a planning application by erecting a brightly coloured site notice close to the application site. The site notice provides details of how to view and how to comment on the planning application. There are instances where a site notice is not erected, such as an application for a certificates of lawfulness or an application for the discharge of planning conditions, where there is no statutory duty to consult with neighbours.
Please note that any comments of a racist or other offensive nature will not be accepted.
Planning Matters taken into account
Only relevant Planning matters can be taken into account by the Council when reaching a decision. Matters which can be taken into account when reaching a decision include:
- the appearance and character of the area or street, including the design and materials of buildings, landscaping and tree loss
- other environmental issues (e.g. noise)
- traffic generation and road safety
- employment and the local economy
- impact on public services
- effects on the landscape and the need to protect open land in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or land use for agriculture; impact of a building on its neighbours, (e.g. privacy or the physical effect of the building)
Planning Matters not taken into account
You should also be aware that in reaching a decision, the Council cannot normally consider the following matters:
- the personal circumstances of the applicant as sometimes put forward in support of an application. These will seldom outweigh the more general planning consideration
- the fact that development may have already begun
- 'trade objections' from potential competitors
- moral arguments, (e.g. opposition to betting shops or amusements arcades)
the belief that an application is submitted with the intention of selling the property at an enhanced value
- the loss of an attractive view from private property
- the fear that an objector's house might be devalued
- the fact that the applicant does not own the land
- allegations that a proposal might affect private rights, such as restrictive covenants, rights of way, or 'ancient lights' - these are usually private matters on which objectors may need legal advice
- the fear that a building may be used for a different purpose in the course of time - decisions have to be made on applications as submitted
- matters covered by other legislation e.g. Building Regulations or the Health & Safety at Work Act
- public safety on telecommunications masts where the installation complies with ICNIRP guidelines.
Planning Aid provides independent planning advice, you can call them on 0870 850 9806.
They give some advice to all callers and if you meet their eligibility criteria you may be given extra help by one of their professional planning staff or volunteers.
There may be several different dates provided in different documents and online for the last date by which comments must be submitted. This is because the documents may be produced on different days and in most cases we allow a period of 21 days for comments to be submitted on new applications and 14 days for amendments.
We always accept comments and objections up to the latest of the published dates. So, for example, if letters were sent out to local residents on Monday, 01 June giving 21 days until the end of 21 June to comment, and the application was also advertised in the local press on Friday, 05 June with a deadline of 26 June for comments to be submitted, the deadline would be the later date of 26 June. The earlier you can submit comments the better as it gives us more time to take them into account when we are dealing with the application.
In some cases we can accept comments after the 21 day publicity period has expired. If you have missed the deadline and wish to comment please contact the case officer to see whether there is still time. If you have received a letter the number will be at the top, if not you can find the caseworker's name on the 'Further Information' tab in Public Access, then 'phone 01424 451066 and ask for the officer by name.
If you are submitting a petition about a planning application please make sure that:
- The application number and address and reasons for objection are clearly stated at the top of every page
- You submit the original – photocopies cannot be accepted
- The petition includes at least 10 signatures
- You provide the contact name and telephone number of the person to be notified of the date of the committee meeting
Comment on an application