How to comment on a planning application
You will probably have heard about the planning application from either the site notice, the local press or by letter. Representations must be made within 21 days from the date specified and should be sent:
- online using our Contact us form
- by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- in writing to Planning Services, Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton EX16 6PP (quoting the planning application number)
Material and non-material considerations
All comments we receive about a planning application will be considered, but only comments which raise material planning considerations can be taken into account when an application is decided.
In line with our Diversity Policy, only planning issues should be included in your representation and any comments which we consider to be inappropriate may be removed.
See below for a list of things you can do to make your comments more effective (material considerations):
- Look at the forms and plans submitted as part of the planning application
- Read Government policy and the policies and/or proposals within the ‘Mid Devon Local Plan’ and supplementary planning documents (SPD) (including design guides). Does the development proposed fit these policies? In your letter to the Council make a note of whether they do or not
- Discover if there have been previous applications made on the site and what the outcomes were (if previous applications have been refused, for example)
- Look at the effect on cumulative impact, parking, traffic, access and road safety
- Identify what level of noise and disturbance will occur. If you think the development would harm local amenities, tell the Council and explain why
- Consider what affect it will have upon overbearing and sunlight and daylight entering adjoining properties and question whether it will affect neighbours’ privacy
- Think about how the proposal fits in with its surroundings in terms of its design and use. If you think the design would not fit in to its surroundings explain why e.g. visual and other environmental impact
- Focus on the public interest and stick to relevant points
Examples of non-material factors (issues that are not relevant to the decision):
- The applicant
- Land ownership
- Boundary disputes, covenants, rights of way or other property rights
- Property value
- Loss of view
- 'Better site' or 'better use'
- Change from previous scheme
- Personal factors (can be, although rare)
- Moral issues
- Matters controlled under alternative legislation
- Need (can be, although rare)
Due to the large volume of letters the planning department receives about planning applications, it is not possible for officers to reply individually to comments made by local residents/occupants. However, your planning comments will be taken into consideration.
In the event of an appeal against a refusal of planning permission (which is to be dealt with on the basis of representations in writing), any representations made regarding householder applications will be sent to the Secretary of State, and there will be no further opportunity for comments at appeal stage).
Householder applications cover works such as an extension to an existing house or flat, the provision of a garage, summerhouse or shed in a domestic garden, or the installation of any solar panel, domestic wind turbine or antenna which needs specific planning permission.
Who makes planning decisions?
Planning applications which are not dealt with under delegated powers go to Planning Committee. Planning Committee meetings are held every four weeks and are open to public attendance. One spokesperson for the applicant and one for the objectors will be allowed to speak on each application. In addition, a Parish Council representative can also speak. Spokespersons are allowed to speak for 3 minutes, as soon as the Officer has presented his report, or if there is no report as soon as the number on the Plans List or Agenda has been called.