Frequently Asked Questions

The Planning Department has compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Planning Process. They can be viewed below.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you ask for comments on planning applications within 14 days of the advertisement?

We don’t make a decision about a planning application until the public has had sufficient time to explore it. By law we can’t determine an application before the expiration of 14 days from the date it is first advertised, published, posted on our website or notified to identified occupiers on neighbouring land.

We request comments within 14 days so that we know your views as soon as possible in the process. In practice we will take into account any representations received that raise material planning considerations before the application is determined. It’s also useful for the applicant to learn about any concerns early, as it may give them an opportunity to make changes. This helps make our decision-making timely and constructive. It also reduces delays at the latter stages of a project too.

Why was I not notified of a planning application in my street?

Planning legislation states that we also inform ‘any identified occupier on neighbouring land’.

Definition: ‘Neighbouring land’

Land which directly adjoins the application site, or which would adjoin it but for an entry or road less than 20 metres in width.

Definition: ‘Identified occupier’

An ‘occupier of premises within a 90 metre radius of the boundary of the proposed application site’.

If the boundary of your site abuts the red line of an application site but your property is outside of 90m you won’t receive a notification. Your property must be occupied too.

What should I write in my objection to a proposal?

When the Council considers comments made by the public in response to planning applications we can only take material planning considerations into account.

Despite there being no official legal definition for the term material consideration it’s widely understood to mean the fundamentals involved in land-use planning.

Material considerations will vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case but there are two main tests.

  1. It should serve or be related to the purpose of planning - it should therefore relate to the development and use of land;
  2. It should fairly and reasonably relate to the particular application.

Examples of material considerations include:

  • the local development plan
  • planning policy
  • planning history
  • need
  • public opinion
  • consultation responses
  • existing site uses and features
  • layout, design and amenity matters
  • precedent
  • alternative sites
  • planning gain

What’s not considered?

We won’t consider matters which are not relevant to planning such as:

  • loss of view
  • negative effect on property
  • devaluation of property
  • private property rights including boundary and access disputes
  • private interests, for example competition between businesses
  • moral considerations, for example, against betting shops or religious objections such as opposition to working on Sunday
  • political considerations or ideological dislikes
  • cost of the development
  • title restrictions
  • applicant not owning the site
  • concerns covered by other legislation, for example health and safety regulations,licensing, building control
  • any factor indicating the development is not likely to proceed