This blog is intended to assist a normal citizen of England in making an effective Appeal against a development they don’t want. It’s not usually cost-effective to hire a professional planner to create a planning objection, therefore I’ve tried to provide enough information so you can make your own objection and pursue it through the Council’s Planning Process, if necessary. Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between a major and a minor breach, so the actions will be taken against your objection if they fall under any of these two breaches.
What is a Planning Objection?
When a Local Planning Authority is considering a Planning Application, they must take into account any objections made within the statutory period. The Council will deal with these objections by either producing an officer’s report which explains why the Local Planning Authority granted permission for the development, or explain reasons to refuse permission outweigh those to grant it.
A Local Authority cannot make a decision on a planning application until all objections have been considered and dealt with. They cannot grant permission for a development that someone has objected against without providing an officer’s report explaining why this would not be detrimental to the Local Authority’s duties under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The Local Planning Authority must give due consideration to all arguments put forward in submissions signed by any person or persons. There is no need for the Local Planning Authority to present a balanced argument in favour of and against if they have an officer’s report which sets out all the reasons why it should be refused.
Common Reasons for Opposing Development Projects
A Local Planning Objection can be used to oppose any Local Development Plan amendment which you feel affects Local Planning Policies in a way that will affect Environmental Quality, Transport, Flood Risk Management Strategy, Landscape Design Standards or Planning Standards.
- it does not adhere to the Council’s design guide guidelines
- it jeopardises public safety, such as overlooking neighbours or blocking access to fire hydrants
- it has too much vehicular traffic impact (particularly lorries)
- Local Area Cycle Routes network will be affected by the development
- Footpaths will be avoided by cyclists
- Local Infrastructure not planned for increased usage
- Local Council not consulted on Local Development
- Local Area Flood Risk Management Strategy will be affected by the development (potential for increased risk of flooding)
- Local Area Landscape Design Standards and Planning Standards will be affected by the development (increased surface water runoff, site runoff, soil erosion and sedimentation, disturbance of geological material and damage to drainage systems)
What happens after I submit my objection?
- The LPA must acknowledge your objection within 14 days.
- A local inquiry will be held (if one is requested).
- A decision on planning permission will normally be made within 8 weeks of the Local Inquiry.
- If you request it, Local Authorities are required by law to supply you with a copy of their final response letter, signed by the Head of Development Management or Chief Executive (it may take up to six weeks).
What happens if my objection isn’t dealt with within 8 weeks?
If an application has been made, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman about how long it takes for your objection to be acknowledged and dealt with. If you have not heard from the Local Planning Authority after 8 weeks, write them a letter recording this fact and make a complaint by email or standard post. Keep a copy of what you send.
How to make your own Planning Objection
To be effective, Local Planning Objections must contain specific reasons why the Local Resident opposes development of Local are. Local Governments are not obligated to take into consideration Local Development Plan Amendments that Local Residents oppose but will typically listen more if Local Development Plan Amendments are opposed because Local Government recognizes the negative impact of Local Development Plan Amendments.
It’s not usually cost-effective to hire a professional planner to create a planning objection, therefore I’ve tried to provide enough information so you can make your own objection and pursue it through the Council’s planning procedures, if necessary. Local Residences (or students) who oppose Local Development Plan Amendments should include as many details as possible in their Local Planning Objections because Local Governments can use these reasons as proof that Local Development Plan Amendments are indeed Local Unwanted Local Developments.
Local Authorities have no obligation to take your Objection into consideration, but they are required by the Local Government Act of 1972 to list reasons why their decisions were upheld or rejected when publishing their Local Decision Reports. Your motivation for making an Objection is not important, only the content of your Local Planning Objection matters.
The more objections against proposals made by Local Governments, the better chance your objections will provide insight into further adjustments or abandonment of the proposals of the development plans of your local authorities. Also, if enough people start Objecting, Local Authorities will be required by the Legislation to hold Public Inquiries so Residents can hear arguments in favour and against Local Development Plan Amendments.
Government officials who are elected usually represent your local area, therefore these Local Officials might be more inclined to take into consideration your Local Planning Objections than someone with no personal connection — or monetary investment — in the District where you reside.
You can’t appeal if they do not act upon your letter of objection. If the authorization request further information, ventilate it back to them in a clear manner but keep your words simple and avoid unnecessary jargon or phrases that officials may find difficult to understand. Referring authorities must provide valid reasons for their decision when publishing Local Decision Reports and Local Authorities can be held legally accountable for not upholding Local Planning Objections.
The Councils must make Development Plan Amendments available for public inspection and Councils must allow members of the Local Public to provide Local Objections before amending Local Development Plans. The content of Local Planning Objections is more important than motivation for providing such objections, therefore you only need to list reasons why developments in Local Districts are undesirable; you do not need to justify your opposition of specific development plans, but it is helpful if your Local Planning Objection provides concrete examples that prove your points.
When should you hire an expert planner to help you with the process?
If you think that your objection might be complex, or the Local Planning Authority (LPA) is likely to accept any other comments without giving them full consideration, then you should consider hiring an expert.
The LPA usually has designated planning officers who deal with these objections; if it’s expected to be very difficult, the LPA may also appoint an inspector as well! It’s possible that since this person has lots of experience dealing with similar cases, they’ll actually submit a better objection than you would.
The Local Authority may also have a limited number of officers who can work on your case, so if lots of objections are being lodged by Local Residents it may be easier to speak with somebody who has specific experience in this field rather than try to explain the details of your Local Objection to every officer you come across.
Hiring a Planning Consultant is always the best option who has years of experience.