Publicity for Applications
This note sets out the way in which South Bucks District Council publicises the planning applications it receives.
Viewing Planning Applications
You can view details of planning applications from the late 1990's onwards via our Public Access
pages. It is only possible to view the documents (e.g. plans, applications forms etc) online from 2007 onwards, but earlier documents are available electronically. To request copies of any documents, please contact us via email on the address at the foot of this page.
All documents are also available to view in reception at the Council’s offices at Capswood, some electronically only (accessible via a terminal in reception) and some on microfiche or in paper format . Copies of all public documents can be obtained for a charge from reception, subject to copyright and restrictions.
Lists of Applications
Lists of applications received are posted on this web site or can be viewed at the Council Offices. Parish Councils, residents associations and some amenity groups receive these lists free and are encouraged to publicise and display them.
Newspaper and Site Notices
a) Certain applications are publicised by means of a notice in a local newspaper (the Slough and South Bucks Express Public Notice columns) and a notice may be displayed at a prominent position at or near the application site for at least 21 days before a decision is made. The following types of applications will always be publicised this way:
i) proposals involving 10 or more dwellings
ii) proposals for houses on a site with an area of 0.5 hectares or more where the number of dwellings is not stated
iii) proposals for building(s) with 1,000 square metres of floorspace or more
iv) development on a site with an area of 1 hectare or more
v) applications accompanied by an environmental statement
vi) significant applications which the Council may be inclined to approve that clearly conflict with Structure Plan or Local Plan policies. Approval of an application judged against a policy which includes the term "normally" will not in itself be regarded as being in conflict with a plan. For the avoidance of doubt, householder extensions and outbuildings and proposals for less than 10 dwellings (or houses on less than 0.5 hectares) within settlements will not fall in this category
vii) applications for consent to works to listed buildings and proposals that could significantly affect Conservation Areas.
b) The Council supplies lists of all planning applications received to the local newspapers and encourages all of them to publish them as public information. Although lists appear in newspapers such as the Bucks Advertiser and South Bucks Express fairly regularly, publication cannot be guaranteed and is a matter for the discretion of the press.
All applicants (or their agents if they are using one) are supplied with a copy of a site notice which they are asked to display prominently on the site. Whilst this cannot be insisted upon, it is a useful means of giving additional publicity.
Letters to Neighbours
a) Applicants are encouraged to approach their neighbours before submitting planning applications, to show them plans and discuss them with them. This cannot be insisted upon, but, if done, may reduce the extent of neighbour objection later on in the process. The District Council writes to the owner/occupier of some of the dwellings next to application sites advising them that proposals have been made, giving 21 days for making comments from the date on the letter. This is 7 days longer than the Government has suggested.
The policy on sending letters is as follows:
i) in the case of a side extension, we notify the owner/occupier of the adjacent property to the side where the side extension is proposed if the neighbours land is within 30 metres of the proposed development.
ii) in the case of a front or rear extension, we notify owner/occupiers of dwellings on both sides if their land is within 30 metres of the proposed development.
iii) in the case of a rear extension, we notify the owner/occupier of a dwelling to the rear if their land is within 30 metres of the proposed development.
iv) in the case of a completely new building or buildings we notify the owner/occupiers of adjoining land. If there is no occupied building on this land we shall try to notify the owner if known.
v) in cases involving new dwellings we shall notify owner/occupiers of occupied properties with a common boundary to the application site and those on the opposite side of a road from an application site. In addition, depending upon the nature and scale of the application and the geography of the area, notification may be extended at the discretion of the application case officer to include other occupants of dwellings fronting onto the street from which the proposed dwellings take vehicular access. In particular circumstances, where the case officer considers it justified, additional notification of occupants of dwellings fronting onto other streets, may be undertaken. It should be noted that it is difficult to set out fixed rules for this extension of notification. The aim is to balance the giving of information with reasonable judgement as to the people most affected.
vi) in the case of a change of use we notify the owner/occupiers of adjoining land. If there is no occupied building on this land we shall try to notify the owner if known. If the change of use is one which in the opinion of the application case officer might attract significant additional traffic or crowds, e.g. a take-away food establishment, notification will be extended beyond immediate neighbours. There can be no hard and fast rule for the extent of this notification and the case officer is delegated to judge this in the light of the circumstances in each case.
vii) in the case of applications for new buildings that in the opinion of the application case officer might attract significant additional traffic or crowds, notification will be extended in the same way as v) above.
In reaching a decision on certain types of applications (eg CLOPEDs,
GPDEs), the legislation does not entitle us to take into account the views
of all third parties. In these circumances, letters informing neighbours will only be issued to those whose opinions we can take into account.
In cases where a significant amendment or amendments is/are made to an application and the judgement of the case officer is that, given the extent of the alteration(s) further notification is warranted, renotification will be arranged in accordance with the above criteria, giving those contacted 14 days to respond from the date on the letter.
All representations have to be in writing, either by letter or email. Comments given in person or over the telephone can be misunderstood and there may be no agreed record of what was said. We are obliged to make such letters and emails available for public inspection. If the application is considered by the Committee, the representations are summarised in the Committee report. Letters or emails written in confidence or anonymous cannot be taken into account or reported to Committee. All letters are acknowledged and carefully considered. However, it is not this Council’s policy to accept petitions and duplicate letters from separate households. As a general rule, we do not enter into correspondence in respect of representations received, with the exception that a letter is sent advising what decision has been made. Anyone making representations who supplies us with an email address will receive all further correspondence on that specific application electronically. When the Council approves an application, by virtue of national planning law, those who objected do not have the right of appeal. If the Council refuses an application, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, an independent Government body. If an appeal is lodged, we notify neighbours and anyone who commented and pass copies of their letters to the Planning Inspectorate.
If you can’t find the information that you are looking for on any of the planning pages please contact us on:
01895 837210 or 01895 837342.