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WHAT ARE PLANNING OBJECTIONS?
Object to a planning application, appeal or draft Local Plan
Planning objections are normally made in response to planning applications. However, 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 any other policies in the Local Plan. We can also write objections on behalf of neighbourhood groups and resident associations, both formal and informal.
Objecting to a planning application
In the case of planning applications, most local councils will notify immediate neighbours of the application site in writing. At this time, they will invite comments of support or objection. There will normally 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 online alerts.
Start by finding out who your local council is.
Objecting to a planning appeal
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 the appeal concerns householder development – such as a home extension or residential outbuilding – comments aren’t usually allowed.
Objecting to other planning matters
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 don’t have to live locally, although the views of local residents and workers tend to hold the most weight.
We also submit objections on behalf of town councils, parish councils and various 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. Some local councils will refuse to publish anonymous comments.
Your particular title, occupation or address (etc.) may also add 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 should be taken into very careful consideration.
Similarly, if your objection relates to a facility you rely on – such as a shared carpark – your concerns should be given extra attention.
HOW DO I SUBMIT A PLANNING OBJECTION?
Planning objections are usually submitted online. If you’ve received a notification letter from your local council, it should include clear instructions for the submission of comments.
Local councils will also publish details of active planning applications and appeals on their online public access systems. In most cases, you can find the public access system on the planning pages of your council’s website. If you know the address or reference number of an application, you should be able to find it using the public access search facility. In most local areas, you can then submit your comments online using the dedicated form.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PLANNING OBJECTION?
The main purpose of a planning objection is, quite simply, to prevent 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. could be improved. This could include, for example, changes to the position of a proposed building to reduce the harm to your property.
Occasionally, your objection may cause the developer to contact 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. You may then be in a position to resolve matters between yourselves without the involvement of your local council.
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 relevant planning policies – those reasons why the objector believes the application, appeal or emerging Local Plan (etc.) should not be approved.
Planning objections should address policy and material planning considerations only. These are matters in addition to planning policies that can and should be taken into account by planning decision-makers. Material planning considerations will differ in each case and there is no exhaustive list.
However, it is agreed that all of the matters in the table below are capable of being material planning considerations.
|Common material planning considerations|
|Parking, traffic and road safety|
|Previous planning decisions|
|Overlooking and loss of privacy|
|Loss of light and overshadowing|
|Design and appearance|
|Wildlife and nature conservation|
By contrast, the matters appearing in the table below are not capable of being material planning considerations in any circumstances.
|NOT material planning considerations|
|Loss of property value|
|Loss of a view|
|Loss of trade|
|Ownership and boundary disputes|
|Construction noise and disturbance|
Click the button below to find out more about material planning considerations.
The letter can also provide suggestions about how the application, appeal or emerging Local Plan etc. could be improved. This might include, for example, the repositioning of windows to preserve your privacy.
Support your objection with other reports or documents
Depending on the objection, there may also be good cause to supplement your written letter with other reports or drawings. For example, if you are seriously concerned about loss of light, you could consider including a daylight and sunlight report.
In specific cases*, planning objections can also be made verbally in person. If you’ve been given the opportunity to speak publicly on a planning matter, you’re entitled to professional representation. Click the link below to find out more about being represented by Planning Direct in a public forum.
*including at certain stages of Local Plan preparation and for certain planning appeals.
HOW CAN PLANNING DIRECT ASSIST WITH YOUR PLANNING 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. Click the button below to find out more about the contents of our objection letters.
Don’t hold back…
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. You might be surprised about what matters could be relevant so please don’t hold back!
We’ll also investigate and identify in our letter other planning concerns that you might not have noticed.
In addition, we’ll advise you whether additional documents – such as noise or traffic surveys – would be beneficial to your objection. If you like, we can commission these on your behalf. Click the button below to find out more about how our external commissions work.
Benefits of using a professional planning consultancy
The main benefits of having your planning objections written by a professional planning consultancy like Planning Direct are:
- 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
- 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
- We will investigate the case in detail, rather than only 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, please get in touch using the button below. Our initial advice is always free of charge.
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.
Amendments & re-consultation
If the applicant 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 don’t feel the applicant’s revisions have addressed your concerns, you may wish to submit another objection. Alternatively, you can write in to 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* to amend their development and so there is rarely further consultation. In the majority of cases, the Inspector will make their decision taking account of all written submissions. That will include the written submissions of the appellant, the local council and members of the public.
The process will be different for appeals following a Hearing or Public Inquiry procedure.
*that’s the person who submitted the appeal.
Emerging Local Plans
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.