Comment on a planning application
You can comment, support or object to a planning application in the following ways.
Development Management Group Manager
South Lakeland House
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- your name and full postal address (if these details are not given we will not consider your comments and they will not be published on our website).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
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 will not publish any such comments on our website nor will we 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If you wish to look at the "Working File" to view either un-redacted or unpublished comments, please contact us to arrange this.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 will not make the paper file available to members of the public, as this is solely for the case officer for ease of assessing large plans on site.
We aim to publish acceptable comments on our website within 10 days of receipt.
How do I 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.
What sort of comments can be taken into account?
- loss of privacy
- highway safety
- traffic and parking
- noise (from the proposed use, not building works during construction)
- incompatible uses
- scale of development
- appearance of development
- effect on conservation areas and/or listed buildings
What sort comments 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
How long do I have to comment?
- 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
How will I know if you have received my comments?
If you made a comment online or by email you will receive an automated response. We do not acknowledge receipt of comments sent by post.
How are decisions made?
When members of the planning committee make a decision or planning officers make a decision under delegated powers, they are obliged to follow the requirements of the Planning Acts and assess an application in accordance with the development plan, unless there are other overriding material planning considerations.
Our development plan comprises the South Lakeland Core Strategy, Saved Policies from the South Lakeland Local Plan and the Local Plan Land Allocations Development Plan Document.
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.
Most planning applications are decided under our scheme of delegation and are not heard by the planning committee. It is your responsibility to find out if an application is to be heard by the committee. You should look at the South Lakeland online planning service to find out.
All decisions are published on our website.
How long does it take to make a planning decision?
- 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
What will happen next?
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 they may appeal against our decision.