Commenting on Planning Applications
This page answers some of the questions most commonly asked about commenting on a planning application. It explains how to make your views known and tells you the sorts of concerns that the Council can, and cannot, take into account.
Everyone has the right to comment on applications. You do not need to have a direct interest in a proposal, or be an adjoining owner or occupant. The details of every application, including architects' drawings, are available for inspection at our offices and on this website via Planning Online on the Homepage.
In deciding a planning application, we cannot reject a proposal simply because many people oppose it. We will look at whether it is consistent with the Development Plan for the area (South East Plan; South Bucks District Local Development Framework – Core Strategy Development Plan Document; and the ‘saved’ polices in the South Bucks District Local Plan, consolidated version February 2011).
When we process an application, we will consider whether there are any other relevant considerations. These include government planning advice, previous planning decisions, public comments received and local circumstances such as:
- damage to Green Belt, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and countryside
- harmful impact of the development on the appearance of an area or the character of a street
- potential traffic problems or unsatisfactory parking arrangements
- a significant reduction in the level of daylighting to the main living rooms or bedrooms of an adjoining house
- overlooking and loss of privacy
- unreasonable noise or disturbance from future operations, (but not construction work itself)
- loss of important trees
- harmful effect on a listed building or Conservation Area
The Council is unable to take the following kinds of objection into account:
- the personal circumstances, motives or previous record of the applicant
- the fact that a development has started and 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 when sold
- the fear that adjoining houses may be devalued
- the loss of an attractive view from your neighbouring properties
- boundary disputes
- claims that a proposal may affect private rights or covenants
- development taking place which is not part of the current application
- inconvenience, or other problems, during building works
Your comments, whether for or against a proposal, must be in writing, (letter or email) as comments by telephone or word of mouth can be misquoted or misunderstood. The application number and site address should be included in your letter/email. You can also comment online prior to the expiry date for neighbour consultations on this website via Planning Online on the Homepage. Please note that comments received in response to applications will be made public in full under statutory provisions including but not limited to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
Comments should include your name and address and on whose behalf you are submitting comments. Please note that we are unable to consider anonymous representations. Please ensure that if any further personal information is submitted that it belongs to you and you are happy it will be publicly available. 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.
Your letter/email will be acknowledged and your views taken into account but we regret that further correspondence cannot be entered into. You will be advised of the Council's decisions once it is made.
You can submit representations in any appropriate form, for example letters, emails or petitions. The purpose of submitting a written representation is to highlight any concerns, objections, support or comments you may have in response to an application. It is the content of the representation that is important and equal weight is attributed to this content whatever form the representation takes. However you may wish to be aware that in deciding whether applications should be reported to the Planning Committee the number of objections is taken into account and in this regard separate letters from individual sources would each be counted as 1 objection. Duplicate letters from separate households will also only count as 1 objection for this purpose, as would a petition signed by a number of people. One reason for this is that the Committee considered that when an individual produces their own correspondence it can, when considered together with other individual letters, more effectively indicate the weight of local interest than a petition or duplicate letters.
Some applications are considered at Planning Committee meetings. The remaining applications are delegated to officers, being approved by the Development Control Area Team Managers.
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 at a Planning Committee meeting,
and you may receive a letter advising you of the date of the meeting and procedures for speaking.
If an application goes to appeal, you should send comments to the Planning Inspectorate at:
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
We hope that this note has been helpful in explaining how you can comment and the factors that can be taken into account by the Council. However, if you need further advice, our contact details are:
01895 837210, 01895 837371 and 01895 837289