How to comment on a planning application

What you can and cannot comment on

Only planning matters can be taken into account.

The term “material planning considerations” covers any matters that can broadly be categorised as being in the public interest.

Over the years the courts have highlighted a range of issues that do not fall into this category, mainly because they are considered to be “private interests” or already regulated through other legislation.

What you can comment on

  • the adopted ‘Development Plan’ comprising of Policies of the Local Plan, Core Strategy, Neighbourhood Plan & Waste and Minerals Plans
  • emerging Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans
  • supplementary planning documents such as Conservation Appraisals
  • the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance
  • environmental qualities of the area, visual character and amenity
  • loss of light and overshadowing
  • overlooking and loss of privacy
  • noise, disturbance and odour
  • loss of trees
  • road safety, access, car parking, traffic generation
  • flood risk
  • case law and previous planning decisions
  • climate change and sustainable design and construction
  • consideration of what could, otherwise, be undertaken as ‘permitted development’ without the need for a specific permission

What you cannot comment on

  • moral objections
  • the loss of a private view
  • property values
  • ownership
  • covenants and personal property rights
  • other legislation which imposes controls e.g. Building Regulations or Environmental Health (although there is some cross over)
  • the developer’s motives, record or reputation
  • unfair competition
  • speculation over future use
  • that public consultation hasn’t been undertaken prior to making a planning application
  • the volume of representations that have been made by the community