Guidance on commenting on a planning application

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Disruption to online planning service

14th December Update

We are continuing to work on upgrading our online planning service, unfortunately this does mean that the service will be unavailable at times and we apologise for any difficulties you may have in viewing planning applications. 

Please try again later if you are unable to view planning applications online. Alternatively, planning applications can be viewed at the Council offices during normal office hours.

Commenting on a planning application

If you wish to comment on a planning application please do this by completing our online” Comment on a Planning Application form" which can be accessed here rather than using the link on our planning applications page which may be affected by the upgrade work. Comments can also be made via email  to – please ensure that you include your name and address otherwise your comments cannot be considered.

Information on how you can make comments that will be taken into account in deciding an application.

Who can comment

We welcome views on applications we receive, including outline and reserved matters applications. 

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

How to comment

You can comment on an application (including the application reference number):

• online here

• or use the ‘Make Comments’ Tab on the Details of Planning Application page. 

• If you experience any difficulties, please use the email below;; or write to us.

Please always supply your name and address. If you do not, your comments cannot be logged for future consultations, may carry less weight and will not be published on the website. Your comments will normally be published with the application plans and documents on our website (see Important Notes below). Often, comments are checked by the Planning Officer first. This can take up to a week. We do not send acknowledgement letters so check online that we have received your comments.

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.

Types of issue to raise

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.

Types of issue not to raise

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, for example:

Your views

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

  • There is a set period for commenting on an application. However, we will accept comments up until the planning officer writes their report (which is not before the published Consultation End Date). 
  • Check your comment is relevant both to planning and to the particular application
  • Comments we consider to be inappropriate or offensive may result in the whole of your response being ignored. Such comments will not be published on our website
  • Only personal email and telephone details will be redacted and only for the website

We welcome views on applications. 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". 

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.

What happens next

There are a number of stages in considering an application. You can check progress on the application online. When we have made a decision, we will publish the planning officers report and decision online.

Comments on Appeals

For HOUSEHOLDER or Minor Commercial applications, you do not have another chance to comment during an appeal when the application is refused. When 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 (

IMPORTANT NOTE: All comments received on planning applications will be published on the Council’s website for inspection, subject to data protection rules which mean that personal data such as signatures, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses will be redacted prior to publication.  Where the Council considers that the content of comments is potentially libellous or defamatory, contain abusive, obscene or racist language or contain information which should not be circulated, it 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. If you have provide contact details such as your email address or telephone number via the online form, these details will be visible to the public through our electronic system at the Council Offices but not on the website. If you provide your personal contact details via the online form you are giving us CONSENT to share these details with anyone viewing the planning file at our Offices but not on the website. If you do not wish to share these details you can still make comments using the online form but leave the email and telephone number fields blank. You must provide your name and address.  The Council will still consider your comments.  If you prefer to provide your contact details but do not wish them to be shared with the public, you can send an email or a letter setting out your comments.  The Council will remove your personal data (email, telephone number and signature) from comments submitted via email or letter. They will not be seen by the public viewing the file at the Council Offices. 

In addition, those commenting on planning applications should ensure that they are satisfied that the content of their letters would not open them to legal challenge.

Date of last review: 12 September 2018