Your Planning Objection Questions Answered
We have identified some background to the planning application process, including what can and cannot be taken into account by the local planning authority. We hope it is useful and that it allows you to decide if you need our help.
You have 21 days to comment on a planning application, but many local planning authorities accept comments up until the date the decision is made on the application, or before it is considered by the planning committee.
Planning law requires that the starting point for decisions on planning applications is the policies contained within the development plan and other material considerations.
- The development plan contains planning policies for your area – it will be available to view on the planning pages of your local planning authority website. Policies often include matters such as: where development can take place; design; and road safety;
- Material considerations include several things, such as: overlooking/loss of privacy; loss of light or overshadowing; parking; highway safety; traffic; noise; the impact on listed buildings and conservation areas; layout and density of building; design, appearance and materials; impact on the natural environment; Government policy; and previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions).
There are several things that cannot be considered through the planning process, these include:
- Loss of view;
- Loss of property value;
- Breach of restrictive covenant;
- Loss of trade to a competitor;
- The level of profit a developer might make;
- Personal circumstances of the applicant (in most cases);
- Moral objections for example to uses such as amusement arcades and betting offices;
- Matters controlled under Building Regulations or other non-planning laws, such as structural stability, drainage and fire precautions; and
- Private issues between neighbours such as land/boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way and covenants.
Most planning applications are determined by council officers. Decisions are normally only made by a planning committee where they are large scale, there has been a lot of objection or if a councillor requests it.
There is no right of appeal for objectors. A planning decision may be challenged in the courts, by judicial review, if the local planning authority has misinterpreted the law or if they did not follow correct procedure. However, this is a lengthy and complex process, it can also be very expensive.
No, an applicant has a right to appeal an application that has been refused. They could also make changes to a development proposal and resubmit a new application.
Our Recent Work
Learn more about planning objections and browse examples of proposals we’ve provided input to.