How to comment on a planning application

Advice on finding out about planning applications in your area and how to comment on them.

We encourage people to comment on planning applications and we want you to make your views known, even on the smallest proposal.

We publicise planning applications by sending letters to neighbours and by posting a site notice near the development site. We also advertise all planning applications on our weekly list page and the following types of planning applications in the Hampshire Independent:

  • Major applications
  • Listed building consent
  • Prior approval for demolition
  • Prior approval for telecommunications development
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) development (Development accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment)
  • Departures from the development plan
  • Development affecting a public right of way

Who can comment - and how

Anyone can comment on a planning application - you do not need to live next door, have received a notification letter or have a direct interest in the property at all.

You can comment on any planning application in one of three ways:

  • Use our online planning application search to find and comment on the application
  • Email us using the contact details on this page
  • Write to us using the contact details on this page

You must include the following details:

  • The planning reference number
  • The site address
  • Your full name
  • Your postal address
  • A daytime telephone number

If you are writing to us, you must sign and date your letter. We will accept pre-printed letters as long as each person signs them and provides their address.

We will not consider anonymous comments.

Timescale for making comments

Any letter, site notice or newspaper advertisement will set a date by which we should receive any comments.

It is important that you send your comments as soon as possible. They need to be in writing, rather than over the telephone, as we need to keep a proper and accurate record of your comments.

If we receive your comments after the deadline date, you may miss the opportunity for us to take them into account.

Please note that we cannot treat your comments in confidence and they will be open for anyone to see.

Guidelines for your comments

By choosing to comment and take part in the planning process, you are agreeing to accept legal responsibility for your comments.  The council does not accept liability for the nature or content of the comments made and we do not monitor the website.

Please avoid putting your email address or signature in the text and please do not supply personal information about yourself or any other person.

Racist, defamatory, offensive or abusive comments are not helpful to the planning process and you could face action by the police or the people affected by such comments.

What you can comment on

If you want to comment on a planning application, your comments must be based on genuine planning issues. These are known as 'material' planning reasons.

They must relate to planning laws, which aim to regulate development and use of land in the public interest. Your comments must also relate to the development that is being proposed.

The most common planning issues you can comment on are:

  • Local planning policies
  • Government advice
  • The effect of the development on the street or area (but not any loss of private view)
  • Size, layout and density of buildings
  • Design, appearance and materials used
  • Amount of parking and if there is enough
  • Traffic generation and overall highway safety
  • Overlooking and loss of privacy
  • Noise and disturbance from the use of the building (but not from construction work)
  • Ground contamination

What we cannot take into account

  • Anything controlled under other laws, such as building regulations (for example, structural stability, drainage, fire precautions)
  • Loss of property value in the area
  • Sunday trading
  • Disturbance from construction work
  • The identity or personal character of the applicant
  • Competition
  • Moral issues
  • Need for development
  • Private issues between neighbours, such as land and boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way, deeds, and covenants. The issue of covenants has no role in the decision-making on planning applications

This list covers the main areas but cannot cover them all. If you want more advice, please contact us using the contact details on this page.

Organising a petition

There is no substitute for a letter from you to let us know your views, but if you feel that a lot of people will agree with you about a planning application, you can organise a petition and send it to us.

We treat petitions very seriously. If you decide to organise a petition, make sure it is properly set out - with its purpose, the reasons for objecting to the application and legible names and addresses of those signing it.

It is better to have a petition from residents directly affected by the application than one signed by lots of people, including people who live far from the affected site.

When you submit a petition, you should make sure that:

  • Each page of the petition is headed with the aim of the petition
  • The names and addresses of those signing are provided and readable
  • The grounds for your comments are relevant and clearly stated
  • You have included the name and address of the petition coordinator

Involving the local media

You can write to the local newspapers and they may well be interested in the story. However, letters to the paper are no substitute for writing to us - just because you send you views to the local media doesn't mean we will know about them. Sometimes, letters to the press will help people with similar views to get together.

Advice from your local councillor

If you are concerned about an application, you can talk to your local councillors. Your councillors may not be members of the committee dealing with the application, but they will know which members are and can talk to them.

What we do with comments

We will take into account any comments you make, as long as we receive them within the time limits and they are about matters we can take into account.

The officer for the case will sum up all the views we receive as part of the report on the application. Councillors and planning officers have to consider every aspect of an application and your views may not necessarily prevent the application from going ahead.

We will try to be fair and weigh up all the information before we make a decision.

Once we have made a decision, we will write to everyone who has written in to tell them the outcome. In the case of petitions, we will let the petition coordinator know.

How we decide planning applications

If an application is straightforward, small-scale and with no objections, our Head of Planning will make the decision under our pdf icon Scheme of Delegation [18kb].

If it's more complex or potentially controversial, our Development Management Committee will decide.

You can read more about this on our How we decide planning applications page.

Speaking at Development Management Committee meetings

If you want to speak directly to the Development Management Committee about a particular planning application, you may be able to do so.

For more details, see our Speaking at Development Management Committee meetings page.

 
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