Commenting on Planning Applications

Publicly Available Comments

If you make written comments about an application we must, by law make those comments available to the public. We display planning applications online and this includes written comments.

Your personal information (including phone numbers, email addresses and fax numbers) will be seen by Councillors, the applicant and members of the public.

We can, if you specifically ask, cover your signature, email address or telephone number.  Please state this clearly at the start of your letter.  Please note that your name and address cannot be withheld.

Please note that if comments are made anonymously, it is difficult for the information provided to be taken into account.

Making Comments Online

When you make comments through Public Access, you will have a limited amount of time to type.  You might find it useful to have your comments ready before you begin. Please see the general notes page for commenting on a planning application for guidance.

What sort of issues can a neighbour comment on?

It is helpful to us if you can give some reasons as to why you support or oppose the proposal. It is not the number of responses that may affect a decision but the planning issues raised.  These can include the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • The layout, scale, massing, siting, design and external appearance of a building/extension
  • Impact on surrounding area (for example would the development harm the character or amenity of the neighbourhood?)  
  • Adequacy/inadequacy of parking/loading/turning facilities
  • The effect on traffic, road access, visibility and road safety
  • The effect on sunlight and daylight to neighbouring properties
  • Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)
  • Impact/loss of trees and hedgerows
  • Landscaping
  • Effect on listed buildings and conservation areas
  • Disabled persons’ access
  • The proposal’s compliance with current national and local planning policies, including the adopted Development Plan and the Local Development Framework
  • Supplementary Planning Guidance, such as Space About Dwellings or Extension to Dwellings  
  • Planning history, including relevant planning appeal decisions.

Sometimes issues are raised that we are unable to take into account when we decide planning applications, these can include (again, not an exhaustive list) the following: 

  • Loss/reduction of private views over other land  
  • Rights to light (If you feel you have a ‘right to light’, you may wish to seek private legal advice)
  • The perceived loss of property value 
  • Potential profit for the applicant or from the proposal
  • Loss of the ability to maintain property
  • Damage to property
  • Nuisance/disturbance caused during the construction period 
  • Private disputes/conflicts between neighbours, including land ownership, encroachment of foundations or gutters, rights of way/access and boundary/fence lines  
  • Personal morals, views, character or circumstances of the applicant
  • Objections based on the race, age or sexual orientation of the applicant
  • Whether the applicant intends to carry out the development (the applicant is entitled to receive a decision even if they do not intend to proceed with the proposal).  
  • Retrospective nature of approval sought - if the development has already been built or started without permission it is still necessary to look only at its planning merits.   
  • Obligations, rights, restrictions or covenants contained in property title deeds.
  • Compliance with other controls eg Building Regulations.  
  • Duplication of other controls. If a matter is the subject of other separate legislation, it should not be considered as part of the planning application assessment process (eg matters controlled under Environmental Protection legislation). 
Contact
Tel: 01785 619337
Fax: 01785 619473
Email: planning@staffordbc.gov.uk
Related links
Planning Portal
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