Planning permission has the potential to cause division between even the most harmonious of neighbours. This is because an anticipated change to a house, street or community can be an emotive issue – especially if you believe it might have a direct impact on the enjoyment of your own property. Should you wish to dispute a proposed development, here is a brief word to help you do so.

Notice of an Application

When your local Council receives a new application for planning permission, they will usually notify those neighbours who they think will be affected by the building being proposed. However should you not receive a notice, you are still entitled to object.

In order to be fully informed about the application you can look on your local Council’s website to download full details of the proposals. Should you not have access to the internet, copies of applications are usually available to the general public from your Council’s Planning Department.

Making a Submission

The way to object to your local Council about a planning application is to write to the Planning Department either by post, email or by using any available comments facility on the Council’s website, quoting the application number.

When it comes to objecting to a planning application, there is truth in the saying “strength in numbers”. Your comments will have more of an effect if a number of similar objections are made. However, do not be tempted to use a template letter – each submission should state the objectors own views and should be written in their own words in order to be taken in to consideration.

Relevant Factors

Your comments should be purely focussed on the impact that you believe the proposed development will have. In particular you should concentrate on those aspects of the development which are likely to be unacceptable to the Council.

These factors might include:

  • The design of the building and its visual impact;

  • The effect on the character of a neighbourhood;

  • Any possible noise and disturbance;

  • Any overlooking and/or loss of privacy;

  • Any overdevelopment of the building, site or vicinity;

  • If the proposed development is over-bearing, out-of-scale or character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity;

  • The effect that the proposed development may have on a Listed Building or Conservation Area.

Irrelevant Factors

You may have many reasons for not wanting a proposed development to be approved. However, under public law, Councils can only take into account the issues relevant to planning (as above) and must not consider, or allow themselves to be influenced by, other factors.

The following points, for example, will not be taken into account in deciding on the acceptability of the application:

  • The identity of the applicant, their racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views or affiliations;

  • The reasons the applicant is applying for planning permission;

  • The general behaviour of the applicant and/or any private dispute between you, your neighbours and the applicant;

  • Any profit that may be made by the applicant;

  • The possible development of the building in the future (once the proposed development has been built);

  • Any perceived effect on the value of neighbouring properties;

  • The loss of a view to the person objecting;

  • Restrictive covenants in title deeds.

Please note that your Council will publish all comments submitted (unless they consider them to be offensive) so you should ensure that you would want your comments to be read by the general public.

To Summarise…

If you wish to dispute a planning application, it is important that your comments are relevant, informed and impersonal. This will give you the best chance at getting your voice heard by the Council when they make their decision regarding a planning permission dispute. Get in touch if you need advice and guidance.

Article Disclaimer

This article is for general information only and does not constitute specific advice. You should not rely on the information in this article. Fiona Bruce Solicitors recommends that you seek our specific advice if you wish to rely on the any part of this article. Whilst Fiona Bruce Solicitors makes every effort to ensure that the article is accurate, Fiona Bruce Solicitors excludes all liability for claim, loss, demands or damages of any kind whatsoever (whether such claims, loss, demands or damages were foreseeable, known or otherwise) arising out of or in connection with the use of this article or any other information contained on this website. Any information provided only applies to England and Wales.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only