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Comment on a Planning Application

What You Can Comment On

Only comments relating to "material planning considerations" can be taken into account. Over the years, planning appeals and legal decisions have established that some matters cannot be taken into account in planning decisions. We understand that is can be very frustrating as there are many concerns that you may have about a proposal that we are not allowed to consider. As a planning authority we can only decide if an application is acceptable in "material" planning terms.

Common examples of material planning considerations are:

  • Accordance with relevant policy
  • Accordance with relevant advice
  • The number, size, layout, siting, design and external appearance of buildings
  • Impact on the neighbourhood of an area. Would the proposal harm the character or amenity of the area? Impact on the amenities of adjoining properties in terms of privacy, and daylight, e.g. overshadowing or overlooking. If you feel you have a 'right to light', you may wish to take private legal advice but this is not a matter that we can take into account.
  • The effect on traffic, road access and visibility, parking and highway safety.
  • The appropriateness of the proposed land use, e.g. the conversion of a house in a quiet residential street to a shop or restaurant.

Please note that comments on applications for Listed Building Consent or Relevant Demolition in a Conservation Area, must relate to the character of the building and the effect of the work to be undertaken. Likewise, on applications for Certificates of Lawful Development (Existing or Proposed) comments can only be made on the facts (evidence) of the case, not on its planning merits.

Unfortunately we cannot take 'Non Material' considerations into account. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether the applicant intends to carry out the proposal. The applicant is still entitled to a decision even if they do not intend to proceed with the development.
  • Competition between similar businesses.
  • Cost of the scheme.
  • Loss of private views over other land.
  • Loss of the ability to maintain property.
  • The application is retrospective. If the development has been built without approval, we must look only at its planning merits, not that the developer has started without consent.
  • Moral objections eg to a betting office or an amusement centre.
  • Objections based on the race, age or sexual orientation of the applicant.
  • The effect on the value of property.
  • Rights or obligations contained in property 'title deeds'.
  • Conflict between neighbours. It is only necessary to establish whether the proposal would affect amenities and uses that ought to be protected in the public interest.
  • Compliance with other controls, such as Building Regulations and The Party Wall Act.
  • Duplication of other controls. If a matter can be controlled under other legislation, it should not be considered as part of the assessment process. This includes matters controlled under Environmental Protection legislation, litter, anti-social behaviour in public places etc.