Comment on a planning application

We encourage the local community to get involved and have their say in what goes on in their local community, and this includes local planning applications and developments.

If you want to have your say on a planning application currently under review with us, you can leave a formal comment in our online portal. 

Data, privacy, and terms and conditions

Before sending any comments, we recommend you read our privacy statement which explains how we protect your personal data, as well as the terms and conditions for using the comment feature online.

How to comment

  1. search for and find the planning application in question
  2. if the application is open for questions, you will see a 'Comments' tab at the top of the application. 
  3. select the 'Make a Comment' option under the 'Comments' tab
  4. if you signed into your account before searching, your details will automatically appear - if not, you will need to add your details in manually
  5. all fields with a * need to be filled in
  6. write your comment in the box
  7. click submit or register. If you want to register, please note that your council account, if you have one, is not connected to Planning Search, which requires separate registration.
  8. your comments will be uploaded and available to view immediately

When you make a comment, you can ask to receive an email to confirm that we’ve received your comment.

For longer comments, we advise that you first write this in another application, such as Word, and paste it into our system. This will prevent you from losing your comment if our system times out.

Deadlines and late comments

Please make sure you make your comments before the closing date for the application.

To find the date: 

  1. search for the application
  2. click on 'details'  
  3. click on 'important dates'
  4. the closing date will be labelled as the ‘Expiry date’.

If your comments are submitted after the deadline, we will try to take these into account when making our decision, as long as they are received at least two working days before the decision is made.

What we consider

We will only consider comments that relate to planning issues such as:

  • the effect on a neighbour’s daylight, sunlight, or privacy
  • the impact on traffic, road access, parking and servicing
  • the appearance, bulk, or height of the proposed development
  • impact, such as noise, generated by the proposal
  • the potential loss of a valued local service or use, such as a shop or a residential flat

These matters are known as material planning considerations. You can learn more about what are material planning considerations on the Planning Portal.

We will not consider such issues as:

  • the effect on property values
  • competition between rival businesses
  • party wall disputes and fire escape matters
  • moral and religious issues

We do not consider comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, defamatory or offensive. If you see find an offensive comment, you can report it to us using our online form.

Next steps

Online comments will appear immediately. Comments sent by post can take up to two weeks to appear online.

We don’t respond to individual comments.

When applications are due to be discussed at our planning committee, we will update the online planning application to let you know. You can ask to speak at the meeting.

Please note, we are not legally obliged to post comments submitted to us on our website. We reserve the right to decide what to display and when. Comments sent to us will be considered even if we have not published it on the website.

Comments can be sent to us via our website as explained above, or by post. Comments sent by any other method, including by email, without prior agreement, will not be taken into account.

Most people use our website as this is the most reliable way to send comments to us. Posting letters is less reliable since they take longer to be delivered and processed.

How decisions on planning permission are made

The decision must be taken in accordance with the development plan, unless there are material considerations that indicate otherwise.

In addition, the National Planning Policy Framework represents up-to-date government planning policy and is a material consideration that must be taken into account where it is relevant to a planning application or appeal. This includes the presumption in favour of development found at paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

A material planning consideration is one which is relevant to making the planning decision in question (e.g. whether to grant or refuse an application for planning permission).

The scope of what can constitute a material consideration is very wide. However, in general planning is concerned with land use in the public interest, so that the protection of purely private interests such as the impact of a development on the value of a neighbouring property or loss of private rights to light could not be material considerations.

The most common material considerations include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • local, strategic, regional 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
  • loss of important trees
  • landscaping
  • nature conservation
  • intrusion into the open countryside/ Green Belt
  • risk of flooding
  • effect of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
  • archaeology
  • hazardous materials and ground contamination
  • disabled persons access

Many concerns are not normally material considerations or, if they are, can be given little weight in the planning application process. These include:

  • loss of view
  • 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)
  • 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 etc.
  • private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, Party Wall Act, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.
  • problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of work etc.
  • the development is already completed

What weight can be given to material consideration?

The law makes a clear distinction between the question of whether something is a material consideration and the weight which it is to be given.

Whether a particular consideration is material will depend on the circumstances of the case. Provided all material considerations are regarded, it is for the council as the decision maker to decide what weight is to be given to the material considerations in each case.

Considering your views

We will take into account all representations received from neighbours and other interested parties about material planning considerations. We are responsible for making the final decision on the application and for deciding how much weight representations have.

An application can only be refused for "planning reasons" and not because of the number of objections.