Gardens & wildlife

Valid Grounds for Comment

Search The Council's Planning Register by application number if you know it. Alternatively, by postcode or by street.

You will have to log in to comment, though this preserves your public privacy.

Online comments can be made under the COMMENTS TAB, ideally within the three week consultation period. There is a late list for comments made by Friday noon before the date of the relevant meeting, but late comments may miss the Case Officer's report and recommendations.

Before commenting, look first at

  • the application (under the DOCUMENTS TAB) - which documents to open first to get salient information
  • The Council's list of categories which are considered as valid areas of comment (see directly below)
The Council can only take certain matters into account when considering your comments (objections / support / observations) on a planning application.

Issues that can be taken into account:

[A] The proposal complies with the Council’s planning policies

[B] A proposed use is suitable for the area

[C] The appearance and size of a new building is appropriate

[D] External alterations to an existing building are in character

[E] Adjoining residents will suffer overshadowing, overlooking or loss of privacy

[F] There will be any increase in noise and disturbance, e.g. from the
comings and goings of extra traffic

[G] New buildings have satisfactory access for disabled people

[H] New roadways and accesses will be safe for pedestrians and other
road users

[I] A proposed sign is too large or unsightly

[J] The works are in keeping with a listed building

Issues that cannot be taken into account include:
• Loss of view
• Boundary and other disputes between neighbours
• Loss of trade from competing businesses
• Loss of property value
• Private legal covenants

Note that it is valid to comment on the loss of a public view (i.e. a view of the Downs which you get when looking between the end-of-terraces from a public street or anywhere open to the public. Views into and out of conservation areas from public vantage places provide the basis for valid comment, especially when the features under threat contribute to the character and appearance of a neighbourhood.

Campaign to get public views you wish to protect mentioned specifically in the Character Statement for your conservation area when it is next revised. 

Extracting salient points from documents

Planning applications often contain numerous documents.

Open the DOCUMENT tab to see what is proposed

The Application Form is a good document to look at since the standard format compels the applicant to give a precise specification of the amount of development proposed as well as the materials (probably the best indicator of what it will look like!). Important considerations such as access and availability of on-site parking, also need to be specified on the form.

Design and Access Statements are usually written to be readable. However, expect them to paint a rosy picture of proposed schemes. Case Officers are likely to pay more serious attention to Drawings & Plans, which are meant to contain accurate measurements rather than rough sketches. These can take time to understand, though they are the best indicators of exactly what is being proposed.

Parts of the application, which applicants sometimes would prefer not to get too much scrutiny, may be contained in documents with vague labels such as "Technical Report". Do not be deterred from opening these since they may be a study of the pressure that X number of extra homes will put on limited on-street parking space within 200M of the application site.


This page was last updated by Ted on 05-Mar-2022
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