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Having your say on planning applications

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We welcome the views of local residents and interest groups on planning applications. These comments, whether for or against, often bring new factors to our attention and can add to the quality of the decision made.

Before making comments

Before you make any comments on an application, for or against, it is important that you have a careful look at the application and the detail involved. There are a number of ways that you can view an application:

  1. Using our online planning information system;
  2. By making arrangements with the applicant or agent;
  3. At the Customer Services Centre - if you have difficulty reading plans, please ask staff for assistance.

If you are elderly or infirm, arrangements can be made to visit you at your home to explain the plans to you. The Planning Officer dealing with the application can also be contacted on the telephone to discuss the proposals further.

It is a good idea to consider discussing any concerns with the applicant. If you are neighbours you may find that the applicant will wish to amend their proposals if at all possible to accommodate you.

Try to see the proposal from your neighbours' point of view and consider their needs too. Most people wish to remain on good terms with their neighbours and so a compromise may be in both parties' interests.

How to comment

You can comment on an application in the following ways:

Representations are made available for the general public to view online, therefore objectors should avoid making any statements in writing that they do not wish to be published.

For the representation to be valid it must be made for legitimate planning reasons. Examples of the most common valid and invalid grounds for objection are listed below:

Examples of valid planning grounds

  • Contrary to Development Plan (Structure Plan or Local Plan)
  • Appearance (design, materials etc.)
  • Traffic, parking or access problems
  • Residential amenity (noise, overshadowing, overlooking)
  • Drainage problems
  • Effect on setting of Listed Building or character of Conservation Area.

Examples of invalid planning grounds

  • Devaluation of property
  • Loss of view
  • Possibility of future problems (e.g. use of property)
  • Hours of work and damage during construction
  • Business issues relating to the applicant
  • Possible fire hazard
  • Contended legal rights e.g. ownership
  • Errors of notification.

If you are in any doubt on the scope of planning matters please speak to the Planning Officer dealing with the application.

The decision

Anyone who has written to the Council regarding planning applications will be notified of the outcome in writing when the decision is made. With regard to petitions, the organiser will be informed.