Guidance on commenting on a planning application

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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.

If you wish to make an observation or comment on planning applications please do not try to do this by telephone to the planning department. Planning Officers are not able to consider comments from neighbours unless they are in writing via the website, email or by letter.

How to comment

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

• online here

• by email to; or write to us.

Please always supply your name and address, including postcode. If you do not, your comments cannot be logged for future consultations, may carry less weight and will not be published on the website.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 signatures, personal email and telephone details will be redacted for the website. We do not redact names and addresses.

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 signatures, personal telephone numbers and personal e-mail addresses will be redacted prior to publication. We do not redact names and addresses. 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 would like 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 email address, telephone number and signature from comments submitted via email or letter prior to publication on our website. 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: 21 August 2019