Last Modified January 16, 2017
How to search for a planning application
You can search for a planning application that has been submitted to us. Our online search facility allows you to view all documents and plans associated with applications. Alternatively, you can have a look at them at our main offices.
Please note that our online search facility is not available between 2am and 4am Tuesday to Saturday.
We are legally required to publicise all planning applications and do this by letter, and/or notices at the site, and/or notices within local newspapers. You can also see our weekly lists of planning applications.
How to comment on planning applications
Anyone can comment on a planning application, either for or against the proposal. These must be on planning grounds, and be made in writing within 21 days of the date on the published notification letter, site notice or press advert.
You can make a comment through our online planning application search facility. You will need to register your details first. Comments can also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to us at our main offices. Please quote the application number and site address. You can find these details through our online planning application search facility.
Anonymous comments will carry significantly less weight when the matter is being considered. We do not acknowledge in writing any representations made to us but we will tell you by letter if the application is going to be heard by the Planning Committee, giving you details of when and where this will take place.
What is a valid objection?
We can only take into account planning issues when considering your comments. The list below is not exhaustive, but is designed to show the most common examples:
- adequacy of parking/loading/turning
- conflict with planning policies
- design, appearance and materials
- disabled access
- effect on listed building and conservation area
- hazardous materials
- highway safety
- loss of light/overshadowing
- loss of privacy
- loss of trees
- nature conservation
- noise and disturbance resulting from use
- previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
- proposals/policies in the development plan
- road access
- traffic generation
- visual amenity (but not loss of private view)
What cannot be considered?
We cannot take into account matters which are not planning considerations. Again, the list below is not exhaustive but includes:
- applicant’s motives
- boundary disputes
- fence lines
- impact during construction
- loss of property value
- loss of trade and competitors
- loss of view
- ownership disputes over rights of way
- personal morals or views about the application
- private disputes between neighbours
- restrictive covenants
Taking your views into account
When we receive your comments, we will place them on the planning file for public inspection. All letters for and against will be fully considered when deciding on the application.
It is not possible for us to respond to comments raised in individual letters. However, you can view the officer's report (online or at our offices) which will set out the relevant planning policies and detail your comments so you can understand the basis on which the decision was made. Our officer's report and the decision notice will contain any details of conditions that have been placed on the approval, or the reasons why the application was refused.
If the application is to be decided by the Planning Committee, your views will be included in the report for councillors on that committee to consider. At the committee meeting, there is an opportunity for your views to be put forward in person. One person will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes in favour of the application and one person to speak for up to three minutes against. Requests to speak at the meetings are dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you would like to speak at a Planning Committee you must register to do so by calling 0500 400 160 between 10am and 4pm on the day of the meeting.
To view the schedule of our Planning Committee Meetings or to view a Committee Report, please visit our Planning Committee Report and Information page.
How will I know what the decision is?
If you have received a letter from us telling you about the application and you subsequently submitted comments to us, then we will write to you again to tell you what the decision is. Unfortunately, we cannot notify everyone who has an interest in the application because of resource restrictions, but you can see the full list of our decisions on our online register .
Only the applicant can appeal against a decision. If an appeal is made, and you commented on the earlier application, you will be notified and invited to write to the Planning Inspectorate with your comments. Any previous comments you made will also be passed on to the Inspector.
All representations made in writing become part of the application file and are open to be viewed and copied by the applicant or other members of the public. Representations cannot be treated as confidential or kept private.
Planning applications published on this website are subject to copyright restrictions.