Are you concerned about a planning application?
If you do not like a planning proposal or any aspect of it, you can make an objection to the relevant
local authority. Before making an objection you should discuss the aspect of the proposal you do
not like with the Planning Officer. It may be something that can be changed during the application
process. If it can’t then you have the right to object:
Put your objection in writing to the Council's planning department
Contact other people affected by the proposal and encourage them to write letters of
objection. This is more effective than a petition, though a petition can be good for
It is important and helpful that you object on planning grounds only. Objection on the grounds of
devaluation of property, effects on a view or disturbance during the building work are not planning
flooding; and loss of light.
range of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) circulars and
planning policy guidance notes.
these areas is very restricted.
Conditions of Applications
You may agree with the application but disagree with just some of its aspects. In this case, when
objecting to those aspects, you can ask for conditions to be attached to the approval for planning
permission. Objecting to a planning application and asking for conditions to be added is known as
making a representation.
The Appeal Process
You have no right of appeal if the council approves a planning application with which you disagree.
So, if you do not like an application you must object before a committee decision is taken.
If planning permission is refused or conditions are imposed which the applicant (developer)
considers are unacceptable, then the applicant has six months to appeal to the Secretary of State.
An independent Planning Inspector is appointed to listen to both sides of the case and will make
either a decision or a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will then make the final
APPEALS can be heard in three ways:
1. Written representation -
and the opportunity to comment on each other's case. The inspector will visit the site prior to
2. Informal Hearing -
a relaxed and informal setting. The hearing usually takes the form of a round table discussion
followed by a site visit. A decision letter will then be issued.
3. Public Inquiry -
evidence and cross-
The Inspector will make a site visit and may either issue a decision letter or a report to the
Secretary of State for final decision.
At any Inquiry the local authority will seek to defend the decision that is being appealed against.
The local community does have an important role to play. If you have objected to the
application you will be invited to support the local authority, either in writing to the Inspector
or by addressing the Hearing or Public Inquiry.
If you wish either to object or to support the applicant you can put your view in writing or ask to
attend the inquiry and give evidence. If you do speak you are likely to be questioned about your
evidence, but the Inquiry is not intended to be intimidating. Just state your case simply and
For further information have a look at the CPRE booklet:
How to respond to planning applications, and the Planning Help website.
COUNCIL PLANNING POLICY WEBSITES