How to respond to planning applications
Please note to comment online you will need a website account. Currently it is not possible to register for a new account. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you would like to comment on a planning application but do not currently have an account please email your comments to email@example.com or see other ways to comment below.
How do I know when an application has been submitted?
Once a planning application has been registered, letters will be sent to immediate neighbours. An immediate neighbour is someone whose property directly adjoins the proposed site. Not someone who lives up the road or opposite. These letters will notify the neighbour of the proposed planning works. If you are a neighbour, the letter will inform you how to provide comments. It will let you know that you have 21 days to comment. This is known as the 'statutory consultation period'. A decision on the application cannot be made until the 21 day consultation period has passed.
If you would like to know what applications have been submitted in your area, you can sign up for email alerts.
To set this up, please follow the process below:
- Log in to your Website Account for planning and click “new search.” If you do not already have Website Account for planning, register for a new account and then access the online planning register
- Search for applications in the area you are interested in.
- When the search results come back, click on the "save search" button.
- You will then be asked whether you would like to be notified via email about new search results. Click “yes”.
You can receive various alerts for lots of areas, all you need to do is set up a new search area for each one.
How do I comment on a planning application?
Anyone can comment on a planning application even if you do not live near to the application site.
Comments can be submitted up until the date of decision. Any comment received before the decision date will be reviewed by the case officer.
We recommend that you submit your comments as soon as possible. This is so that the case officer can take your opinions into consideration. We want to make sure that the case officer has seen your comments before providing a decision.
You can comment on a planning application online using the online planning register. Using the online register is the quickest and easiest way to comment. If you do not already have an account, you will need to register.
If you are unable to register an account, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
If you do not currently have a registered account you will not be able to comment online, you can email email@example.com with your comments.
We would ask that you try and use the online planning register first and only email if you have a problem.
All comments made towards an application will be published on our website.
Please note that confidential or anonymous comments will not be considered.
Any account or comments found to be fraudulent will be removed.
Help commenting online
The following video shows how to make a comment online.
Commenting on a pre-application
We do not need comments for Pre-Applications. At this stage the applicant is only seeking advice and not formal consent. If you do send a comment towards a Pre-Application it will not be visible on our website.
When a formal planning application is submitted, our usual consultation process will occur.
What should my comments include?
Your comments should include relevant material planning considerations only. You should try not to include your personal opinion or any neighbour disputes. These are not considered relevant considerations.
Some examples of what is a relevant planning comment are outlined in the table below. It is important that your comments stick to the points shown on the left hand side of the table.
Issues that are relevant in planning decisions
Planning considerations which are not relevant
What about a petition?
If you think a lot of people agree with you about a planning application you can organise a petition.
If you decide to organise a petition, please make sure that:
- it clearly says the purpose of the petition
- it gives the reasons why people are supporting or objecting to the application
- the names and addresses of the people signing the petition can be easily read
- there is a contact name and address for the person organising the petition
Petitions can support as well as oppose planning proposals and will be published on the Council’s website.
If you are organising the petition you will need to gain signatures from members of the public. All signatures are redacted but names are visible. If you do this, you will need to gain consent from them to be able to submit this as a comment. This is so that we can share their data on our website.
You can find further information on the Information Commissioner's website.
If it is unclear that you have obtained consent, we will not publish the petition on our website.
What happens after I submit my comments?
The case officer will review all comments towards a planning application. These will be reviewed against the relevant policies and guidelines.
Most applications are decided by a case officer. On occasion a decision will be made by planning committee. This is only under certain circumstances.
Further information can be found via the links below.
- Delegated powers - a guide to who decides planning applications
- Public speaking at Planning Committees
We are not able to let you know if a planning application is being reviewed by planning committee. You will need to track the progress of the application by using the online planning register.
You can track the application online for updates. This includes being told when a decision has been made. To do this you need to log into your account, go to the application and then select “track”.
What else can I do?
If you do not wish to contact us direct you can:
Contact your local Councillor. You can speak to your councillor about your views on an application.
Contact your local Council. Parish and Town Councils are aware about planning applications in their area. If you have an opinion about an application you can tell the local council.
Find out more about the role of local councils in planning.
Do I have a right to appeal if I disagree with the decision?
No, third parties do not have the right to appeal a planning decision. The only person with a right to appeal is the applicant.