Petitioning a Planning Application
If you submit a petition regarding a planning application which is contrary to the Officer's recommendation then the application will be considered by the Planning Committee, subject to other requirements of the Council's constitution. The submission of a valid petition will also give the lead petitioner or other nominated person the right to speak at Planning Committee for no more than 5 minutes about the application.
There are two ways you carry out and submit a petition
- Paper petition by post
- E-petition online
Whichever type of petition you choose there are some requirements the petition will need to meet to be a valid petition. These are set out below:
- The petition must be received no later than 3pm at least three clear working days before the Planning Committee considering the item is due to sit
- The petition is contrary to the Officer's recommendation
- The petition must contain a minimum of ten signatories from different households
- Each page of the petition must clearly state the planning application reference number to which it is referring, giving the full address of the property / site and the reasons for the objection
- Petitions must contain full names, full addresses and signatures
- Paper petitions submitted must be the original document as photocopies are not accepted
- The petition must state who the Lead Petitioner is and how they can be contacted.
E-Petitions can be submitted as an alternative to paper petitions provided they meet the following criteria:
- They must contain a minimum of ten signatories
- All signatories must live, work or study in the Borough
- The E-Petition must clearly state the planning application reference number to which it is referring, giving the full address of the property / site, the reasons for the petition and what action or decision you want the Council / relevant Committee to take
- E-Petitions regarding current planning applications should be submitted within 21 days of the date the application is initially advertised (by press notice / site notice or letter where appropriate). Signatures cannot be collected on an E-Petition beyond this period
- E-Petitions relating to current planning applications must state who the Lead Petitioner is and how they can be contacted
- Where an application is already going to Planning Committee, an E-Petition may be submitted in order to have the right to speak at Planning Committee. This must be received no later than 3pm at least three clear working days before the Planning Committee considering the item is due to sit and the petition is contrary to the Officer's recommendation. This will not apply if the application is not required to be heard at Planning Committee.
If you wish to create an e-petition you can do so here. This page also gives access to old and current e-petitions.
An acknowledgement will be sent to the Lead Petitioner within 10 working days of receiving a valid paper or E-petition.
If the valid petition is a paper petition then a copy will be added to the planning application. For E-petitions a link to the E-Petition will be added to the planning application.
The Lead Petitioner will be notified if the application is referred to the Planning Committee and advised of the date of the Planning Committee meeting and their public speaking rights (if relevant).
Where the lead petitioner (or their representative) fails to attend the scheduled Planning Committee meeting the Chair will ask if there is anyone else present in the public gallery who wishes to address the Planning Committee on behalf of the petition. The applicant or their agent has a right to speak in response to the petition. Each person making representations may speak for up to a maximum of five minutes and may be asked questions by members of the Planning Committee.
Any representations received will become public documents and will also be published on our website. Signatures, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers will be redacted but requests for confidentiality cannot be accepted.
Only the lead petitioner and the applicant will be notified if an application is to be considered at planning committee.
Please note that any comments of a racist or other offensive nature will not be accepted, whether it is about a member or public or Council staff.
Planning Committee Dates
The dates of planning committee meetings can be viewed on the meetings, agendas, reports and minutes area of the website and are available 5 working days before the meeting takes place.
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
Template Paper Petition
The below document can be used as a template for a paper petition.
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.