Commenting on an application

For the majority of applications, anyone has the right to comment; you do not need to have received a letter inviting your comments, have a direct interest in a proposal or be an adjoining owner or occupant. All comments are public information. They must be in writing including your name and address but please avoid including signatures or telephone numbers.

Planning applications can be viewed via Public Access. The Council Offices in Denham & Amersham have PCs you can use between 9am & 4.30pm as do local libraries during their opening hours. There are no hard copy files available to view.

Wherever possible please comment via Public Access  where you can track applications and set up your own automated notifications. Please note that the comments function on Public Access times out after approximately 30 minutes so if your comments are extensive you would be well advised to type them outside of Public Access and copy and paste them into the comments box. There is also a limit of 6000 characters.

You can send in representations by email to planning@southbucks.gov.uk or by post to Planning, Council Offices, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham, HP6 5AW. Wherever possible, please include the application number, address and Planning Officers name.

Your comments must be in writing and must include your name and postal address. We are unable to consider anonymous representations.  Please note that it is the content of the representations we receive that is important rather than the volume of letters; we cannot reject a proposal simply because many people oppose it.

All comments received will form part of a public document which will be available for public inspection, therefore do not supply details you do not want to be seen. If you are submitting comments on behalf of someone else please ensure you have their permission to do so and that they are happy that it will be made available to others. South Bucks Council do not currently publish third party representations on our website. If you would like to view such comments, send an email to planning@southbucks.gov.uk and we should be able to email them back to you.

What can I say about an application?

In deciding a planning application, we will make the decision based on planning issues such as:

  • The design, layout and appearance of the development and its impact on the surrounding area;
  • Highway considerations;
  • The effect of the development on neighbouring properties e.g. overshadowing, loss of privacy, overbearing appearance;
  • Impact on trees, conservation areas or listed buildings;
  • damage to Green Belt, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and countryside.

The following things are not planning matters and will not be taken into account:

  • The identity and character of the applicant or agent;
  • Any private covenants affecting the site;
  • Matters dealt with under other legislation such as drainage or construction technique;
  • Party Wall Act - this is not covered by planning legislation;
  • The personal circumstances, motives or previous record of the applicant;
  • The fact that an application is retrospective;
  • Trade objections based on competition;
  • Moral objections;
  • A belief that an application has been submitted to increase a property value
  • The fear that adjoining houses may be devalued;
  • The loss of view from neighbouring properties;
  • Boundary disputes;
  • Inconvenience, or other problems, during building works.

Will my comments always be taken into account?

Any representations containing abusive remarks will be returned to the sender and will not be taken into account.

On certain types of applications, such as Certificates of Lawfulness for Proposed Use (CLOPEDs) and Prior Notifications for Rear Extensions (GPDEs), the legislation does not allow the Council to take into account the views of all third parties.

What happens next?

Most applications are decided under delegated powers. A small number are considered by Planning Committee at a public meeting. If an application is considered at Committee you will be allowed to sit in and hear the arguments for and against the proposal and hear the decision that is made. In some circumstances you may be allowed to speak. Find out more about the decision making process. Please be aware that in deciding whether an application should be reported to the Planning Committee (and for this purpose only) the number of objections is taken into account and - in this regard - separate letters from the same household would be counted as only one objection. Duplicated letters from separate households will also only count as one objection for this purpose, as would a petition signed by a number of people.

Sometimes, the applicant will appeal against our decision. As part of the appeal, any comments you made on the application will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate. If you have commented on an application, you will be notified of any appeal and may be given the opportunity to comment further. See appeals for more information.