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Dealing with Planning Objections

Nov 25, 2022

By Laura Potts MRTPI, Planning Consultant, CAD Planning

How planning objections are raised

Once a planning application has been validated by your Local Planning Authority (LPA), there will be a minimum period of 21 days for “public engagement.” This is an opportunity for any interested parties to submit comments to the LPA – either in support or against the proposal.

Neighbours who are affected by the application will be informed, and usually public notices will be attached to nearby lamp posts. If there is a Parish Council, they will be told, as will any relevant specialists on the County Council, such as the Highways Authority or the Environmental Health Department.

This is seen as an important way in which our local democracy works – giving people the opportunity to comment on proposed works before they are determined. Any feedback received by the LPA will be given due consideration before they make their final decision.

Reviewing your feedback

Your LPA may have a website showing planning applications in progress, which you can use to monitor any comments on your proposal as they come in. This gives you a valuable opportunity to consider how you might respond to any objections and which, if any, may have some merit.

Regarding your immediate neighbours, it is a good idea to engage with them earlier in the process and inform them of your overall plans before your application is submitted. Building positive relationships by involving them in this way may help to lessen the likelihood of receiving damaging objections.

The good news is that even if you receive a large number of objections, this will not necessarily halt the progress of your application. It is the role of the Case Officer to assess these objectively and only give weight to those that raise legitimate concerns.

What types of objection might be made?

Objections can vary wildly in their content – from the well-argued to the highly subjective or even frivolous. The objections to be most concerned about are those that are based on the regulatory framework and are what are often termed “material considerations.” These could be submitted by:

· Specialists such as Conservation Officers or others, objecting that your proposal is out of line with planning guidelines. They may be formally recommending to the LPA that the proposal should be rejected. The Case Officer may not necessarily agree, but they will listen closely to any specialist’s input.

· Parish Councils – though they would need to demonstrate that their objection is unbiased and is based on an understanding of the planning system, and not simply a response to “local lobbying.”

· Neighbours or residents’ groups. Their objections will carry more weight if they have obtained expert advice from a planning specialist, who is helping them to document their objection.

Whatever objections have been put forward it is the opinion of the Case Officer that counts. This is why it is important to have an open and constructive dialogue with your LPA, so that you can understand what concerns they have and act accordingly.

How can a specialist Planning Consultant help with objections?

· Forward planning: An experienced Planning Consultant should be able to anticipate the key objections that are likely to be raised so that these can be factored into your planning application.

· Presentation: When your proposal is presented, it should highlight how it meets with the requirements of the regulatory framework and the local planning strategy, so that the scope for substantial objections is “ring-fenced” as much as possible.

· Negotiation: Your Planning Consultant should be in regular conversation with your LPA so they can appraise any objections that are likely to be supported by the Case Officer and the actions that could be taken to negate these.

· Adjustment: Sometimes making some reasonable amendments to your plans can satisfy most of the objectors and avoid your proposal being rejected. A Planning Consultant will be able to guide you on the changes required, so that you can decide whether you are happy to proceed on that basis.

· Appeal: Finally, if planning permission is refused due to objections and you believe that this decision is unfair, you may have grounds for appeal. A Planning Consultant will be able to guide you through this process and advise you on how strong your case is.

At CAD Planning, we are highly skilled at dealing with planning objections.
If you have questions about this or any other aspect of the planning process, get in touch with our expert, friendly team for a no-obligation discussion.

Contact us today at: info@cad-planning.co.uk

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