Comment on a planning application

What we can and can't consider

Please give detailed reasons about why you support or oppose a proposal and be aware of what we can and can't take into consideration (see below).

It's also worth remembering that it's not the number of responses that may affect a planning 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.

What planning issues we can consider

The most common material considerations we can 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.

Comment online

What issues we can't consider

We can't take the following concerns into account through the planning process:

  • 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.