Guide to commenting on Planning Applications

Useful information if you want to comment on planning applications

Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service

On advice from the government regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), all comments on any current planning application must be submitted on our online portal

Any letters sent by post or hand delivered to one of our customer centres are unlikely to be taken into consideration. 

See further information about changes to services.

Comments can be made in writing or via email - please see our page How to comment on planning applications

What comments can I make?

Only comments relating to relevant planning issues can be considered, things such as:

  • Height of a proposed building, overshadowing neighbouring properties
  • Increase in noise and disturbance or traffic levels
  • Appearance of the proposed building - does look out of character with neighbouring properties?
  • Is there a possible conflict with planning policies for the area?

Other issues such as loss of a view or devaluation of property are not considered to be valid reasons for objecting to a planning application.

What information should I include?

You must include your name and address (anonymous comments cannot be considered).  Please take care not to write anything offensive, discriminatory or defamatory. Do not include any personal telephone numbers or information of a sensitive or personal nature. If you wish, you can submit such information to the Council separately, so that it can be used by Council officers for contact purposes but will not appear on the website. Please make sure that your letter or email includes the application reference number and address.

When should I make my comment?

You can make comments up to 21 days after the planning application is listed on the council’s website. The date that comments need to be made by is published on the website. It is also shown on a yellow, blue or green site notice displayed in the street near the application site. Blue and green site notices are used for amendments to applications that have already been open to comment, so the time period for comments on these site notices will usually be shorter. You can only comment on applications that have not been decided

Who will see my comment?

By law comments (representations) are open to the public, so anyone can see them. Comments are usually published on our website and can also be viewed on-line at our customer service centre. A summary of the comments will be in the case officer or Planning Committee report. Please be aware that due to the high volume of comments received, case officers are unable to respond to each individual email or letter. Copies of comments will also be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate if the applicant appeals the decision of the local authority.

Will anyone see my personal information (my address or phone number)?

Only your name and address, which you need to include for your comment to be considered, will be published on the website. Every effort will be made to ensure that personal information such as phone numbers or email addresses is hidden before publication so that it cannot be seen on the website.  If you put your comment in writing and post it to us we will also redact any signatures before putting your letter on the website.

Why isn't my comment on the website?

We try to add comments to the website within a few days. If a lot of comments are received, it may not be possible to publish all of these on the website. We cannot publish petitions that are mostly lists of signatures or comments that contain information unsuitable for publication. Such as defamatory, offensive or sensitive personal information about neighbours or third parties. Sometimes technical or resource problems will cause a delay.

If you would like to see comments that have not been published please contact us.

How will the application be decided?

Most decisions are made by planning officers. In some cases applications are decided by the Planning Committee. More information can be found on our Making A Planning Application page.

Can I appeal the decision?

Only the person or organisation who made the application can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Third parties cannot appeal against the decision of the local planning authority.