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How to comment on a planning application

We welcome views on planning and tree works applications currently under consideration. We consult by letter those properties that immediately adjoin the application site.

  • Anyone can comment on a current application. You do not need to have received a letter from us to tell us your views

  • All comments must be in writing

To make your comments count, the issues that planning can and cannot consider are listed below.

How to comment Toggle accordion

You can submit your comments online under the application details, or by email to planningcomments@stalbans.gov.uk Please include the application reference number.

  • Please always supply your address, including postcode. If you do not, your comments cannot be logged for future consultations, may carry less weight and may not be published on the website.

  • Check your comment is relevant (see below) and to the particular application.

  • If you want to include illustrations, appendices etc they must be in one single file with your comments (Word or PDF).

  • Please note that as we receive many comments about applications it is not possible for us to enter into correspondence or discussion with you.

Issues we can consider Toggle accordion

By law, we can only consider planning applications on certain grounds. These are relevant planning policies (local and national) and any other material planning considerations, for example:

  • the general appearance, design and visual impact of the proposal

  • the size, height and scale of the development

  • potential loss of light, overshadowing or overlooking

  • effects on trees and the natural environment

  • traffic impact and highway safety

  • potential noise and disturbance from car parking

For other examples, see Material and Non-Material Planning Considerations below.

Issues we cannot consider Toggle accordion

Objections to loss of light to windows of non-habitable rooms, such as landings or bathrooms, or to secondary windows to habitable rooms, would not usually be considered as relevant. In terms of privacy, new side-facing windows at first floor and above should be obscure glazed but this does not apply to ground-floor windows.

Objections on non-planning grounds cannot be taken into account, examples are:

What happens to your comments Toggle accordion

All comments will be taken into account when deciding the application. To help everyone:

  • There is a set period (end consultation date) for commenting on an application. However, we will accept comments up until the planning officer writes their report.

  • Your comments will be published on our website with the application plans and documents after they have been reviewed by officers. This may take a few days.

  • Only signatures, personal email and telephone details will be redacted for the website. We do not redact names and addresses.

  • We do not send acknowledgement letters so check online that we have received your comments.

  • We do not inform interested parties of our decisions. These are published online.

  • Comments we consider to be inappropriate or offensive may result in the whole of your response being ignored. The Council reserves the right to remove the offending information before publication, with or without the consent of the author.  However, the Council will retain an unaltered copy of the comments on the planning file.

  • You should ensure that your comments would not be open to legal challenge.

Your views may help identify parts of the proposal which are unsatisfactory or a concern. We may decide to request changes or impose conditions to make the proposals acceptable. 

Please note that local opposition is not in itself a ground for refusal, unless it is based on "material planning considerations" (see above). 

We have to weigh up many issues when making a decision. Your objections – no matter how valid you feel they are – may not justify us in refusing planning permission.

Comments on appeals Toggle accordion

For Householder or Minor Commercial applications, if the applicant submits an appeal against a refusal, you will NOT have any further opportunity to comment on that appeal. Any comments submitted on the original application will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate, who decides the appeal.

For all other applications, comments on appeals must be sent directly to the Planning Inspectorate (www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk).