Planning Direct Planning Direct

Planning Objections

Planning Direct has a high success rate in opposing unwanted planning applications of all sizes.


Planning Objections

The planning system is designed to let all interested parties have a say in a planning application. All members of the public are entitled to make objections to planning applications; having success, however, can be elusive. Planning consultants such as Planning Direct are experts in preparing a technical submission in order to challenge a planning application and make sure that it is rejected. Uniquely, Planning Direct also has experience in the political sphere, which is crucial to maximising the chances of an unwanted development being turned down.


Why Make a Planning Objection?

If you or your organisation does not wish to see a development go ahead, your voice will not be heard unless you submit a planning objection. You should bare in mind that your objection is a public document, and that the applicant will therefore be aware of it.


How to Make a Planning Objection

You can look up a planning application via the relevant council’s website, and once you know the details, can submit an objection via email or letter. In formulating an objection, the following points should be considered:


  1. Emotional and technical arguments are of equal merit, and have different uses – In objecting to an application you need to make both emotional and technical arguments. Emotional arguments are important in order to raise both awareness and funds, and in order to interest uncommitted decision-makers in the detail of technical arguments. Without technical arguments, objectors have no case in planning law, and offer no means by which councillors can reject an application. The emotional and technical arguments are of equal (if differing) worth, and therefore both must be worked up. As the campaign gets closer to the date of decision, emotional arguments become less important, and the interested parties (public included) are more conversant with technical arguments.
  2. Make arguments easy to follow – All technical arguments should be summarised in one document, with Executive Summary covered on one side of A4. This document must be written in the week following the publication of council committee papers, address all the arguments in that document, and make the case for the objection. All assertions must be cross-referenced and sourced. In Hadleigh, for example, we asked a QC to write draft grounds for refusal, thereby making councillors lives even easier.
  3. Manage the Project – Campaigners should ensure that all parties are project-managed, and in the week before decision day, it is crucial that they are full time project-managed by an strong, organised communicator.
  4. Maximise the use of speaking time – Often, other parties, such as the local Parish or Town Councils and Councillors (if they are not on the committee) are able to speak at planning meetings. Persuade the tier 3 councils to let you have their time (in Hadleigh, the Town Council let me speak for five minutes after I made my case in front of them) and brief local councillors who wish to speak.
  5. Get legal advice – Legal advice is highly advantageous (in Hadleigh, we had a planning solicitor and QC) to ensure that all arguments refer back to the grounds for refusal the QC employs.
  6. Get the best speakers you can – When you have such little time to speak, it is important that your speakers have something to say, can speak well, and can carry gravitas by dint of their professional qualifications or standing. Do not let vanity play any part in optimising your chances of winning.


Following is a list of issues concerning planning applications that you can raise an objection against:


  • Overlooking/loss of privacy;
  • Loss of light or overshadowing;
  • Parking;
  • Highway safety;
  • Traffic;
  • Noise;
  • Effect on listed building and conservation area;
  • Layout and density of building;
  • Design, appearance and materials;
  • Government policy;
  • Disabled persons’ access;
  • Proposals in the Development Plan;
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions);
  • Nature conservation.


You can find out more about what we can do – and for free. Contact us now about your planning problem and we’ll give initial advice completely free of charge:

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