Use the drop-downs to find out more about planning objections.

WHAT ARE PLANNING OBJECTIONS?

Objections are normally made to planning applications but they can be submitted in response to other planning matters, including planning appeals and emerging Local Plans.

For example, the draft Local Plan in your area might be proposing a new housing site in a sensitive location where it will seriously harm your quality of life. We can assist you to object to the inclusion of this site and/or other policies and strategies in the Local Plan. We can also write objections on behalf of neighbourhood groups and associations – both formal and informal.

In the case of planning applications, most local councils will notify immediate neighbours of the application site in writing, inviting their comments of support or objection. There will be a deadline to submit your comments.

Some local councils no longer notify residents of individual planning applications in their neighbourhood. If you want to find out about planning applications that might affect you, you may need to sign up for alerts online!

In the case of most planning appeals, the same people notified of the application will be notified again. They will normally be given another opportunity to submit comments and there will be a deadline for this. 

If you want to be kept informed about other planning matters in your local area – such as new housing site allocations or emerging planning policies – so that you can object when necessary, you may need to sign up to alerts or mailing lists with your local council. 

WHO CAN OBJECT?

All members of the public are entitled to object to all planning applications and most other planning matters. More than one objection can be submitted per household and more than one objection can be made.

You do not have to live or work locally, although the views of local residents and workers tend to hold the most weight. 

We also submit objections on behalf of local councils, parish councils and a wide variety of formal and informal groups, associations and societies.

CAN I OBJECT ANONYMOUSLY?

You can request that your objection is anonymous. However, this is rarely advisable as considerably less weight is given to anonymous objections. 

Your title, occupation or address (etc.) may also add great weight to your objection. For example, if you are an immediate neighbour of a proposed development, your concerns about overlooking, noise or loss of privacy will be taken into very careful consideration.

Similarly, if your concerns relate to the effect of a development on town centre parking and you own/operate a business in the town centre, the decision-makers should pay especially close attention to your views.

HOW DO I SUBMIT A PLANNING OBJECTION?

Planning objections are usually submitted online. If you are looking to object following the receipt of a notification letter from your local council, that letter should include clear instructions for the submission of your comments.

Local councils will also publish details of active planning applications and appeals on their online planning portals, normally accessible via their main website. If you know the address or reference number of an application, you should be able to find it using their search facility and you can then submit your comment online using the dedicated form. 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PLANNING OBJECTION?

The main purpose of a planning objection is, quite simply, to stop the approval of an application, appeal or emerging Local Plan etc.

An objection can also provide suggestions for how an application, appeal, emerging Local Plan etc. should be revised, in the event that it is approved. This could include, for example, changes to the size, materials or position of a proposed building (and its windows) to reduce the harm to your property.

Occasionally, your objection may cause the developer to get in touch with you directly to offer some changes, compromises or compensation. This is especially likely to be the case if you are an immediate neighbour of a large or controversial development.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PREPARING A PLANNING OBJECTION?

Most planning objections consist of a written letter only. The letter should clearly set out, in appropriate planning terms and by reference to the relevant planning policies, why the objector believes the application, appeal or emerging Local Plan (etc.) should not go ahead.  

The letter should address material planning considerations only. These are all those matters that can and should be taken into account by planning decision-makers (normally that’s your local council’s planning department). Material planning considerations will differ in each case and there is no exhaustive list.

However, it is commonly agreed that all of the matters appearing in the table below are capable of being material planning considerations in a given case.

By contrast, the matters appearing in the table below are NOT capable of being material planning considerations in any circumstances.

The letter can also provide suggestions about how the application, appeal or emerging Local Plan etc. could be revised or improved to make it acceptable. This might include, for example, the repositioning of a proposed building or the removal or relocation of its windows to preserve privacy. 

Depending on the objection, there may also be good cause to supplement the written letter with other reports or drawings. For example, if you are seriously concerned about a loss of light, you could include with your objection letter a detailed daylight and sunlight report.

In specific cases, including at certain stages of Local Plan preparation and for certain planning appeals, objections can also be made verbally in person. If you’d like assistance to prepare a verbal objection, you should contact us today using the button below.

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HOW CAN PLANNING DIRECT ASSIST WITH YOUR OBJECTION?

Planning Direct has a wealth of experience and success in objecting to a wide variety of large and small planning applications, appeals and emerging plans. 

We write comprehensive and detailed objection letters, covering all potential grounds of objection. 

If you tell us what your concerns are, we’ll make sure these are conveyed in the best possible way, using the appropriate planning language and making reference to the relevant planning policies. We’ll also investigate and identify in our letter other planning concerns that you might not have noticed such as

We will also advise you whether any supplementary reports or drawings – such as noise and traffic surveys – would be beneficial to your objection. If you like, we can commission these on your behalf.

The main benefits of having your planning objection written by a professional planning consultancy like Planning Direct are:

  1. We will thoroughly investigate the planning policy context, providing competent and detailed assessment of all applicable national, regional, local and neighbourhood policies that weigh against the development
  1. We will write the letter using the appropriate planning terminology and planning arguments that the decision-makers would expect to see. We will avoid mention of any matters that have no relevance to planning (such as loss of a view) and that might undermine the credibility of your objection
  1. We will investigate the case in detail, rather than just focusing on those issues of particular concern to the objector. This typically leads us to find additional persuasive grounds of objection – such as conflict with legislation on protected species and their habitats – that greatly increase the chances of you getting the result you desire.

If you’d like to find out more about how Planning Direct could assist you to object to a planning application, appeal or emerging Local Plan get in touch using the button below. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY PLANNING OBJECTION?

In the case of planning applications, the applicant/developer should be provided with a copy of your objection. They are normally given the opportunity to amend their development or provide additional information or explanations. 

If the applicant/developer decides to make changes to their application, the council will normally reconsult. This means you will get another chance to submit comments of support or objection.

If you do not feel that the revisions made by the applicant/developer have addressed your concerns, you may wish to submit another objection or, as a minimum, confirm that your original objection still stands. 

If the applicant/developer makes no changes to their application, the council will make their decision. Their decision will take all public comments into account. The council will normally publish a report on the application that summarises the public comments received and provides the officer’s response to these. 

In the case of planning appeals, there is no opportunity for the appellant/developer to amend their development and so there is rarely further consultation. In the majority of cases, the Inspector will proceed to make a decision taking into account all written submissions – including those of the appellant/developer, the council and the public objectors. The process will be different for appeals following a Hearing or Public Inquiry procedure. 

In the case of emerging Local Plans, there are usually various opportunities for public comments to be made during the different stages of its preparation. If you have instructed Planning Direct to object to an emerging Local Plan on your behalf, we will discuss the process with you directly. 

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