Comment on a planning application

Last Updated: 23 September 2022

You can comment, support or object to a planning application in the following ways. 

Online: South Lakeland Online Planning Service



Development Management Group Manager
South Lakeland House
Lowther Street

If you send a comment online or by email, please do not send a duplicate copy by post. Electronic comments carry as much weight as written comments and we process them in the same way.

Comments must include:

  • the planning reference number
  • your name and full postal address (if these details are not given we will not consider your comments and they will not be published on our website). 
  • the date

If you need help in understanding the plans, please email us. We will not discuss our assessment of the proposals with you at this stage.

Personal details

Planning applications are public documents and your comments, including personal details, will form part of the planning application file and are available for other people to read.

We will publish your comments on our website.

Before we do this we will remove your signature, telephone number and email address. Your name and address will not be removed. It may be possible for others to browse your name and address via online search engines. 

The council has the same legal responsibilities as any other publisher when publishing comments/responses on our website. In view of this, please abide by the following criteria.

  • do not refer to the personal character or motives of the applicant/s
  • do not make any abusive or malicious comments
  • do not mention hearsay or rumour
  • do not use defamatory, slanderous or libellous language

We may decide not publish any such comments on our website. We will not take those specified comments into account when making a decision on an application. Comments will be held on the council’s electronic filing system and will remain public documents available to view at South Lakeland House upon request.

Extreme examples of unacceptable observations will be returned to you.

If you wish to look at the "Working File" to view either un-redacted or unpublished comments, please contact us to arrange this. The full electronic file will then be available to view on a computer screen in our reception area. Please note, we DO NOT hold paper files.

We aim to publish acceptable comments on our website within 10 days of receipt.

Make an effective comment

Keep your letter short, legible and to the point.

Send your letter before the deadline date.


Local communities may wish to register their comments about a development with a petition. This is an acceptable method of communication.  However, please note that the reasons for the petition (usually the front cover) will be published, but subsequent pages with signatures will not. We will include a tally of those who have signed the petition.

Comments that can be taken into account

  • loss of privacy
  • overshadowing
  • design
  • highway safety
  • traffic and parking
  • noise (from the proposed use, not building works during construction)
  • incompatible uses
  • scale of development
  • appearance of development
  • wildlife
  • trees
  • flooding
  • effect on conservation areas and/or listed buildings 

Comments that cannot be taken into account

  • personal issues with neighbours
  • loss of private views
  • business competition
  • noise or disturbance during building operations
  • property devaluation
  • private covenants
  • boundary disputes
  • impact of private rights of access  

Comment in good time

  • the deadline for comments is 21 days from the date on the letter/ publicity notifying you about the application
  • however, all comments received up until the decision is made will be considered
  • if comments are made after the 21 day deadline and a decision has already been made, your comments will not be taken into consideration
  • it is advisable to make your comments as soon as possible
  • if you make your comments online or by email you will receive an automated response. We do not acknowledge receipt of comments sent by post

Decision making

Most planning decisions are made by our planning officers under delegated powers.

Some decisions go to our planning committee.

We are obliged to follow the requirements of the Planning Acts and assess an application in accordance with the local policies, unless there are other overriding material planning considerations.

Our development plan comprises the:

We are required to act positively and to make planning proposals acceptable. We must also include a statement in the decision notice explaining how we have dealt with the planning application in a positive and proactive way based on seeking solutions to problems that may have arisen with the planning application.

Check if an application has been heard by committee. South Lakeland online planning service

If an application is to be heard by the planning committee you will be allowed to speak to the members about your concerns. Guidance about public participation

All decisions are published on our website.

It is your responsibility to monitor the progress of an application and to find out whether or not it is to be heard by the planning committee.

Timescales for planning decisions

  • we have a deadline of eight weeks to determine most planning applications
  • more complex applications have a deadline of 13 or 16 weeks
  • if we do not issue a decision within these timescales the applicant may appeal against non-determination
  • in such circumstances the decision would then be made by the Planning Inspectorate rather than us

Process after decision

If permission is granted

The decision may include conditions that the applicant must comply with.

There is no process for neighbours or other third parties to appeal against our decision.

If permission is refused

Applicants may either resubmit another planning application for an alternative scheme or appeal against our decision.