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Commenting on planning applications

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You can comment on development proposals but there are issues which can and cannot be considered in coming to a decision.​

You can comment on material planning considerations, for example;

  • local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
  • proposals in the development plan
  • government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
  • previous appeal decisions
  • effects on listed buildings and conservation areas
  • layout and density of buildings
  • design, visual appearance, landscaping and materials
  • loss of daylight or sunlight
  • overbearing or loss of outlook (but not loss of view)
  • overbearing or loss of privacy
  • highway issues - traffic generation and vehicular access
  • highway safety - parking, loading and turning
  • noise and disturbance resulting from use
  • smells
  • loss of trees
  • nature conservation
  • archaelology
  • light pollution
  • hazardous materials
  • ground contamination
  • risk of flooding
  • disabled people's access

Matters which are not normally considered;

  • matters controlled under building regulations or other non-planning laws such as structural stability, drainage and fire precautions
  • private issues between neighbours like land or boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way and covenants
  • loss of value of property
  • problems arising from the construction period of any works - for example noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of work

The document Commenting on a planning application outlines how you can comment on applications and the types of issues which can and cannot be considered in coming to a decision.

How to comment 

 Commenting online

You can view or comment on planning applications on-line. To make a comment on an application, please follow these steps;  

  1. enter an application number or address details to locate the application you are interested in.
    The details and documents associated with the application will be displayed
  2. select the 'Comment on the Planning Application' link, which will provide you with a form to complete 
  3. complete the form, making sure that you include your name and address.
    This will enable us to notify you of the outcome in writing once a decision is reached 

Commenting in person 

If you prefer you can view or comment on planning applications at one of our One Stop Shops, where a customer care officer will be happy to help. As the One Stop shop receptions do not hold paper copies, application details will be viewed via our website.

Some applications may be referred to the development control committee. You can attend and speak at committee for or against and application - advice on speaking at a committee is available in the document ‘Speaking at development control committee’

Timescales

Ideally any comments should be made within 21 days of the date that the planning application was registered by the council. It is in your best interests to submit your views as soon as possible so they can be taken into consideration as part of the normal determination process. However comments can be made right up until the point that the decision is made by the council. Please contact the case officer handling the application for further advice when considering whether to submit comments later than the usual 21 day period. Under normal circumstances comments made in association with new planning applications will be available to view online within five working days of receipt of the comment. If you are aware of any comments made that should appear against a current application that are not displaying outside of this timescale, please contact the customer contact centre on the number to the left hand side of this page, or email details to the planningapp email post box.

Following the determination or withdraw of a planning application, and in accordance with data protection legislation, all neighbour comments made in relation to the application will be removed from the public access system.

Benefits of submitting comments using the Planning Public Access facility

By submitting your comments using the online public access service you will be sent an instant email acknowledgement of your details having been received by us. Using the facility will also ensure that your personal data (email and contact details) will automatically be removed from the information that is published on the website.

Useful information

If commenting by letter, print your name in capitals below your signature. Before your letter is published on the website the signature and any contact details will be blanked out.

If you are submitting personal (medical) or financial information in support of your comments, please indicate clearly at the top of each document whether you are prepared for this information to be made publicly available.

If you are emailing your comments consider making your comment as a separate attachment, so that this can be published on the website without your email address.

 

Offensive, racist and anonymous comments

Please note that offensive, racist, discriminatory and other statements that are not relevant will not be published. Offensive statements lower a person's reputation personally or within their trade, profession or business. Racist statements are those that discriminate against individuals on racial grounds including their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins. Gypsies and other minorities are racial groups. Statements that discriminate on grounds of religion, sexuality or disability will also not be published. Comments that include such statements will be rejected but can be resubmitted in a more acceptable form. Anonymous comments will not be published.

 

You should be aware that the law states that any comments made (together with personal details) about a planning application must be publicly available. This includes comments made via the website.