Comment on an application
If you wish to comment either for or against a planning application, you can do so using the Public Access website or by email. When making your comments you should specify your reasons. Online comments and emails unfortunately can't be acknowledged but will be added to the application's file which can be viewed on the Public Access website.
We are pleased to receive your comments in respect of live applications but please note we do not respond to these letters, emails or questions raised in them. Many queries regarding the planning application process can be found on our web site. 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
For the majority of applications, anyone can make a comment on a planning application whilst the consultation period is open. You do not need to have received a letter inviting your comments, have a direct interest in a proposal or be an adjoining owner or occupant. All comments must be in writing and submitted preferably online using the Public Access website or by email.
Making a comment does not give you the right to speak at planning committee and does not mean that you will receive updates about when the application will be heard. If you want to be notified of updates to the application you can find out how to set that up here.
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.
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. For example, if site notices were put up on Monday 01 June this would give residents 21 days until the end of 21 June to comment, and if 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 consultation 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.
A petition is different from a comment. A petition is a comment from a member of public regarding a planning application signed by ten or more people of different addressess. If you wish to speak at planning committee, you must already have submitted a valid petition within the correct timeframe. Details of what constitutes a valid petition and the relevant timeframes can be found below.
To find out more about petitions, including how to make one, visit our planning petitions page.
Planning Aid England offer free, independent professional advice on planning issues.
National Planning practice Guidance is now available entirely online in a useable and accessible way. Important information for any user of the planning system previously only published in separate documents can now be found quickly and simply. You can link easily between the National Planning Policy Framework and the National Planning practice Guidance, as well as between different categories of guidance.
Comment on an application