How to comment on a
neighbours Planning Application.
All Planning applications are a public record. Anyone affected by a proposed
development can raise a comment or objection. Regretfully this isn't just limited to affected
HOW DO I COMMENT ON A PLANNING APPLICATION?
Changes happen all the time. New buildings are built and other buildings are
demolished. Trees may be cut down or a familiar building changes hands and turns into something else. These
changes can be improvements - sometimes they are not. Either way, they affect the place where we work and
How do I know what is happening?
Public comment on planning decisions is encouraged by most Councils, many of
which want people to make their views known, even on the smallest planning application. Anyone can comment on a
planning application - you do not need to live next door or have a direct interest in the site.
Planning Applications are normally publicised by:
sending a letter to close neighbours;
advertising in the local newspaper; and
displaying a Site Notice on or near the application site.
What can I Comment about?
Government advice about what approach should be followed in making planning
decisions is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note No. 1: General Policy and Principles.
If you want to comment on a planning application your comments must be based on
genuine planning considerations - they must relate to the purpose of the planning legislation which is to regulate
the development and use of land in the public interest. Your comments must also relate to the development which is
The most common considerations are: -
Local planning policies
Previous planning decisions
The effect on the street or area (but not loss of private view)
Size, layout and density of buildings
Effect on listed building or Conservation Area
Design, appearance and materials
Adequacy of parking
Traffic generation and overall highway safety
Previous appeal decisions
Overlooking and loss of privacy
Noise and disturbance from the use (but not from construction work
Matters that cannot be taken into account:
Matters controlled under other legislation such as Building Regulations (e.g.
structural stability, drainage, fire precautions etc.)
Private issues between neighbours (e.g. land and boundary disputes, damage to
property, private rights of way, deeds, covenants etc.)
Loss of property value
Disturbance from construction work
The identity or personal characteristics of the applicant.
Need for development
Loss of view
How long do I have to make comments?
Any letter, site notice or newspaper advertisement will set a date by which you
should make your views known. It is important that you send in your comments as soon as possible and that your
response is in writing. This is because there is a need to keep a proper and accurate record of your comments.
Please also note that any comments you make cannot be treated in confidence and they will be available for
inspection by both the applicant and the public.
Will others help me?
If you feel a lot of people will agree with you about a planning application you
can organise a petition and send it to the Council. The Council treats petitions very seriously. If you decide to
organise a petition, make sure it is properly set out with its purpose, the reasons for objecting and legible names
and addresses of those signing it. It is better to have a short petition from residents who will actually be
affected by the application than a very long one signed by almost anybody, including people who live far from the
Can local papers help?
You can write to the local papers who may well be interested in the story.
However, letters to the paper are no substitute for writing to the Council. Sometimes letters to the press will
help people with similar views to get together.
Who can I talk to?
If you are very concerned about an application, you should talk to us and we
will help you put your case forward.