What happens to my comments?
As part of all planning applications, we are required to give a statutory period of 21 days for the occupants of neighbouring properties to comment.
The precise notification procedure varies for different application types, and can be viewed . You can comment on planning applications by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, in writing to the Council offices, or through the online planning system. As well as notifying neighbours, we also notify the relevant Town or Parish Council about all applications falling within their catchment area. These operate independently from the District Council, and you should contact your local Town or Parish Council for more information.
What can I say about an application?
Anyone can comment on an application, you don't have to live next door. We will make the decision on planning issues, as set out in the Adopted Development Plan. For more information about commenting, see the Commenting on Planning Applications. Please be aware that we are not able to consider confidential or anonymous letters.
What if the development has already started?
The planning legislation specifically allows for retrospective applications to be submitted. Whilst it is clearly regrettable that works takes place in advance of obtaining planning permission, it is not an offence to do so. The fact that work has started will not alter the way in which we assess the application. If the application is found to be unacceptable then we will consider any necessary further action. See the Planning Enforcement pages for further information.
Who decides the application?
Most applications, except the Council's own applications, are determined under the delegated powers of the Council's Head of Planning Services, even if there are objections. However, District Councillors may refer applications to the Planning Committee . The Planning Committee is a public meeting. If an application is referred to Planning Committee and you have commented on it we will write to you to let you know.
How can I check the progress of an application?
You can check the progress of an application through the online planning system. After the decision has been it will be placed on the application file. You will be able to see the full decision notice including any conditions or reasons for refusal.
Who can I talk to?
You can telephone the Planning Officer named in the notification letter, or contact Planning Services on 01494 732950. We are sorry, but we cannot enter into exchanges of letters. You may also wish to contact your District Councillor or a member of the Planning Committee. View details on Planning Committee.
What happens next?
We decide most applications within 8 weeks, although larger developments may take longer. This is why it is important that you let us have your comments as soon as possible. Your comments will be forwarded to the Case Officer, and we will carefully take you comments into account, although the decision may not be what you want. Decisions are made either by the Planning Committee, or under delegated powers. We may approve the application with conditions, or refuse it. Sometimes the applicant will withdraw the application before we make a decision.
If we refuse it, the applicant may appeal against our decision to the independent Planning Inspectorate. In most cases the appeal will be dealt with on the basis of the application as submitted, any representations from the public and the planning officer's written report. If the applicant does appeal to the Planning Inspectorate we will write to you again to let you know. Please note a copy of all representations will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and the Appellant, and there will be no further opportunity to comment at appeal stage.