Applying for or objecting to planning applications

It’s vital to fully understand the requirements you are expected to meet when seeking planning permission to develop your property. Such criteria will differ from council to council, so it is important to maintain communication with your local planning officer and seek early professional planning advice if necessary. Our top five tips will guide you through the process and help ensure your planning application is granted permission.

Research local and national policies

You will need to study national and local policies related to planning applications. In addition, planning applications previously submitted in your area will give you an insight into how policies are interpreted by your council and indicate what they look for in a successful application.

Play the game

It is important that you play by the rules of the local council. Every region interprets them in its own way, so this is a good place to start. Talk to your local councillors, seek professional advice, and try to work out how local planning politics works.

Talk to those who may be affected by your proposed development

Most objections to proposed development come from people who live in the proximity of the intended site. Therefore, it is important to engage with those who are most likely to be affected by the proposed construction at the earliest opportunity. By doing so, they will feel they have been consulted and are involved in the process. This can minimise the risk of objections further down the line and ensure that dialogue remains open should they arise at a later stage.

Make validation easier

Before submitting an application, it is imperative to ensure you comply with the national and local requirements when completing the form and drafting accompanying drawings and statements. Failure to do so could result in your application being invalid and refused. To facilitate the validation of your application, it’s worth including an index table listing the documents contained within application.

Use the right terminology

Planning officers will be accustomed to speaking and writing in the language of planning. Consequently, it is a good idea to try and incorporate buzz words and planning jargon into your application. Take the time to research how the terminology is used and in what context. Using technical language will indicate that you understand basic planning practices and may increase your chances of being granted planning permission.

Objecting to a planning application

For an objection to a planning application to be taken into account it must be based on material planning considerations, including any of the following grounds:

  • Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours (e.g. noise and disturbance excluding that caused by the execution of the works, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing)
  • Unacceptably high density or over-development of the site, especially where garden land loss is incurred)
  • Visual impact of the development
  • Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood
  • Design
  • Loss of existing views from neighbouring properties adversely affecting residential amenity

To make an objection, it necessary to write to the Planning Department, quoting the planning application number. Planning decisions are made in accordance with the Development Plan of the relevant council.