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How to comment on a planning application

You can comment on, object to or support a planning application and we will consider your comments as part of the planning process. Comments are sometimes called representations. Find out more using the links below:

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Different ways to comment

The best way to comment on a planning application is by commenting online or by emailing

Please make sure your comments are clear and easy to understand. Please also note that your comments will not be acknowledged, but they will be available to view online. Your comments may also be forwarded or copied to other parties.

You can also comment in writing. Please send your comments to the address indicated in your letter of notification, or as contained on the site notice or in a press notice and in the timescale specified. Please quote the planning application reference number when making comments - this may be found via the application search online.

Anyone can comment to support or object to any application that's currently open for consultation, whether it directly affects you or not, even if you haven't received a letter notifying you of the application.

You normally will have 21 days to comment from the date of your letter, or the date of the site notice or press notice to comment, unless it relates to a proposal that has been amended during the course of the consideration of the application, when the time to comment may be reduced- more information regarding this is available within the statement of community involvement. 

Currently submitted applications can be viewed on our weekly list of planning applications.

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How do I make comments?

Using the planning public access site, in the search box, enter the application reference number or a keyword such as a street name and click 'Search'. Select the application you want to look at, select the 'Comments' tab and complete the online form.

Alternatively, you can email your comments to

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What sort of things can we take into account?

It is helpful if you give reasons as to why you support or oppose a proposal. It is not the number of responses that may affect a decision but the planning issues raised.

In considering a planning application, we have a statutory duty to have regard to the provisions of our local plan and any other material considerations. The most common material considerations include the following, although the list is not exhaustive.

  • Local and national planning policies.
  • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments.
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions).
  • Design, visual appearance, and materials.
  • Layout and density of buildings.
  • Loss of daylight or sunlight.
  • Overshadowing/loss of outlook (but not loss of view).
  • Overlooking/loss of privacy.
  • Noise and disturbance from use.
  • Smells.
  • Light pollution.
  • Highway safety issues.
  • Traffic generation.
  • Vehicular access.
  • Adequacy of parking.
  • Impact/loss of trees/hedgerows.
  • Landscaping.
  • Nature conservation and effect on protected species.
  • Intrusion into the open countryside/green belt.
  • Risk of flooding.
  • Effect of listed buildings and conservation areas.
  • Archaeology.
  • Hazardous materials and ground contamination.
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What can't we take into account?

Many concerns cannot be addressed through the planning process, these include:

  • Loss of view including over other land.
  • Rights to light.
  • Loss of property value.
  • Breach of restrictive covenant.
  • Loss of trade to a competitor.
  • The level of profit a developer might make.
  • Personal circumstances of the applicant (in most cases).
  • Objections based on race, ace, religion, or sexual orientation of the applicant.
  • Moral objections e.g. to uses such as amusement arcades and betting offices.
  • Matters controlled under building regulations or other non-planning laws, e.g. structural stability, drainage, fire precautions, environmental protection etc.
  • Private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, loss of ability to maintain property, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.
  • Problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles etc.
  • The development is already completed.
  •  Retrospective nature of approval sought i.e. if development is already built or started without permission. It is still necessary to look only at the planning merits.

Of vital importance is that applications must, under the legislation, be determined in accordance with the local plan, unless other issues suggest that this would be inappropriate.

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Contact your councillor

Should you have concerns with a proposal you may also contact your local ward councillor.

Your local ward councillor may feel it necessary for the proposal to be 'called in' for determination by the planning committee.

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Who decides on planning applications?

The majority of planning applications received are determined under delegated powers conferred to officers under our constitution. Generally, applications are reported to the planning committee if:

  • significant planning objections  are raised by a parish / town council and officers are recommending approval
  • a Lichfield district councillor has 'called in' an application
  • it is on/relates to council owned land
  • the applicant is either a Lichfield District councillor or an officer of the council
  • there is a S106 legal agreement pertaining to two or more obligations
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Can I speak at the planning committee?

It is possible to speak at the planning committee. Find out more about the planning committee.

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What happens to your comments

All comments and objections will be considered alongside all other planning considerations that relate to the application, unless they are made anonymously. These considerations may conflict with one another and it is our role to balance an application against planning policies and against other relevant factors - a decision that does not reflect your comments does not mean they were ignored.

If an application is considered by our planning committee, you may have the chance to speak at the committee meeting.

If the application is subject to appeal, comments are forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate.

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Publishing & processing your comment

By law, all comments received must be open to public inspection, as they form part of the statutory register for planning applications. We publish comments on our website, although personal data, such as signatures, email address and telephone numbers will be removed (redacted). However, the names and addresses of those people who commented on the application is published.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) gives rights to you about how your personal data is obtained and used by us, the data controller. We will retain your correspondence, as is required in accordance with the town and country planning legislation. We may also share information you provide with other departments of the council and certain organisations, such as statutory and non-statutory consultees and the Planning Inspectorate, as is required by statute and for the purposes of processing the application and/or appeal. 

We therefore process your personal data in the exercise of our official authority and in carrying out a task in the public interest. You have rights of access, rectification, erasure and restriction in respect of your personal data.  

If you have any concerns regarding how your data is processed and/or retained, please speak with an officer from the development management team initially. You may also wish to refer the matter to our data protection officer, or you can complain to the Information Commissioner

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Offensive and racist comments

Offensive, racist, discriminatory, threatening and other statements that are not relevant will not be published. If such comments are included, then elements of your representation made be removed/redacted or your whole representation may not be published.  These comments will not be taken into consideration in the determination of the application.

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Anonymous or private/confidential Comments

Due to the legal requirement to make representations available for public inspection, we cannot accept anonymity or comments marked private or confidential.

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Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

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