How to comment on a planning application
Covid-19 Lockdown Period Service Update
The Planning Department is continuing to operate and process planning applications during the lockdown period.
Applicants and their agents are being asked to provide photographs of all relevant parts of the application site clearly showing the relationship with neighbouring properties in order to allow officers to assess the application.
Neighbours should consider sending in photographs to show the concerns you are raising. Please be aware that photographs showing the application property and its relationship with neighbouring properties are normally best when taken at or close to the rear boundary, unless other features prevent a clear view. Closer photos to show the position of the windows you feel would be affected may also be appropriate.
Where an assessment of the street scene needs to be made, you are advised to take a picture of the application property and its immediate neighbours and pictures of any other properties in the immediate street scene which you feel are directly relevant. Please ensure it is clear which properties are displayed within each image.
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. Please note your comments will be published on our website, including your name and address. You do not need to supply your full name but your address is important so that we are able to assess the impact of a proposal on your property. If you wish to be re-consulted on any material amendments made to the plans during the application process, you will need to supply your full address including postcode.
To understand the planning application process, please see What happens to your application.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 If you do not, your comments cannot be logged for future consultations, may carry less weight and may not be published on the website. You do not need to supply your full name if you have concerns about data protection.
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
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:
loss of property value
loss of (or effect on) private views
the impact of construction noise
competition or commercial interests
restrictive covenants and other private legal restrictions
conflict with other laws, for example the Building Regulations which are intended to ensure that buildings are safe and habitable; damage to pavements/verges (report to Hertfordshire County Council); or Common Law 'Rights to Light'.
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).