New developments of all types and sizes can often attract a lot of negative feelings. They can be anything from your neighbour building an extension to their house to a new residential housing development announced for the playing fields at the end of your street.
These developments can affect people’s lives and the enjoyment of their property. Understandably, people can react with a lot of emotion and want to make their objections heard. In these instances, it is important to note that there can be a big difference between voicing your objection and making that objection actually count.
How can I make my planning objection count?
If you are objecting to a planning application, then in most instances you will have a legal right to do so within three weeks from notification that the application has been made. Usually, you will either receive a letter from the Council or see a notice near to the site, which will set out brief details of the application. All of the application documentation and plans should be uploaded onto the Council’s website for you to review.
Considering and interpreting the vast amounts of appeal documentation that are often submitted can be overwhelming and you may decide to seek legal assistance. If you are seeking advice from a legal professional then it is best to do so promptly. Your objection must be in writing and should be carefully considered. A robust objection can prevent the proposed development in its entirety or can incite the developer to submit an amended scheme to appease your concerns or reduce the impact.
It is often assumed that a local planning authority will take into account the potential diminution in your property value as a result of the proposed development. However, whilst obviously being very important to objectors, it is not a material consideration that will be taken into account by the local planning authority when they consider the planning application and any objections.
The key to a successful objection is to focus on how the planning proposal accords (or more importantly fails to accord with) development plan policies, national planning policy and other material considerations and avoid making personal or derogatory remarks about the developer. Seeking legal advice can make the difference in terms of directing the local planning authority to the points they should be considering as a matter of law.