Guidance to assist in lodging formal objections to proposed developments

What sort of things can be taken into account in opposing a planning application?

In considering a planning application, a Council has a statutory duty to have regard to the provisions of the Local Plan and any other “material considerations”. The most common “material considerations” include the following, although the list is not exhaustive.

 Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies

 Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments

 Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)

 Design, visual appearance, and materials

 Layout and density of buildings

 Loss of daylight or sunlight

 Overshadowing/loss of outlook (but not loss of view)

 Overlooking/loss of privacy

 Noise and disturbance from use

 Smells

 Light pollution

 Highway safety issues

 Traffic generation

 Vehicular access

 Adequacy of parking

 Loss of important trees

 Landscaping

 Nature conservation

 Intrusion into the Open Countryside/ Green Belt

 Risk of flooding

 Effect of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

 Archaeology

 Hazardous materials and ground contamination

 Disabled persons’ access

What cannot be taken into account?

Many concerns cannot be addressed 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 e.g. to uses such as amusement arcades and betting offices

 Matters controlled under Building Regulations or other non-planning laws, e.g. structural stability, drainage, fire precautions


 Private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.

 Problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of work etc.

 The development is already completed


If you wish, use this sample letter as a guide to writing an effective letter of objection to your local council about a planning application.

 Your name and address:

 Address of the local authority department dealing with the application, as stated on the site notice/neighbour

notification/newspaper advertisement for the planning application, and the date:

 Name of planning officer dealing with case:

 Reference:

 One-line summary including what the application proposes, where it is (the site) and who is proposing it (the applicant):

 Interest and general line of person making representation:

Reference to Government policy and site-specific local development plan policy which, though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on:

Where applicable, reference to the Neighbourhood Plan for the area:

Reference to Government policy and to ‘planning history’ – the local authority’s previous planning decisions in the area:

Reference to other issues which affect the community as a whole, rather than individual interests. You could also mention the parish plan or village design statement, if these exist for your area:

Reference to development plan generic development control policy which, though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on; as well as to further issues of concern to the wider community:

Reference to other bodies in the local community who support your position:

Formal request to speak at the local planning authority committee meeting at which the application may be decided, some local planning authorities require respondents to planning applications to give notice, in their response, of their wish to speak at committee meetings:

 Signature:

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