Guidance for commenting on a planning application
We want to hear your views so that we can take them into account when considering planning applications.
Where to find out about a new planning application
We will send a letter to the properties next to an application site and the planning officer will also notify any properties they consider to be directly affected by the proposal. The notification invites you to view the application and make comments within a specified period of time.
Some applications are advertised by the display of a site notice near the application site and some are also advertised in the local press (the Wallingford Herald, Didcot Herald, Henley Standard or Oxford Times).
To find this page, type the application number in the search engine at the top of this page. This number will start with a 'P' for planning, then the year e.g. 11 for 2011, followed by a forward slash, 'E' for east or 'W' for west and then a number.
Alternatively, you can search by date, location or even by postcode via the planning register page.
How to comment
We want to hear from you whether you are supporting or opposing an application. To ensure that your views are not misinterpreted, we can only accept them in writing.
- E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send us a letter
Please quote the planning application reference number, the address of the site and the name of the case officer.
- Alternatively you can comment online:
To comment online you will first need to search for the planning application by clicking here. Once you have selected the relevant application click on the orange ‘comment now’ box which appears in the planning application details window. This will open the online comment form.
Any letter, site notice or newspaper advertisement will set a deadline date for comments to be received. If your comments are received after this deadline you may have missed the opportunity to have your comments taken into consideration. Due to the high number of comments on applications we receive, it is not possible to acknowledge or respond to them directly.
If many people share your view, you may wish to organise a petition. A petition should state the names, addresses and the objections/supporting comments of those signing it. It is better to have a short petition from residents who will be affected by the application than a long petition signed by people who live far away from the affected area and /or will not be affected by the proposal.
Types of comments
We can only take into account material planning considerations in the determination of applications.
- Loss of privacy
- Loss of light
- Car parking
- Traffic generation
- Noise and disturbance
- Character of the area
- Green Belt
- Conservation Area
- Design, appearance and layout
- National and local policies
We cannot take into account:
- Loss of value to a property
- Loss of view
- Personal disagreements
- Boundary disputes
- Commercial competition
- Construction disturbance
- Sunday trading
- Matters controlled under other legislation such as the Building Regulations
Considering your comments
Members of the public will be able to inspect and copy your comments by visiting our offices or by viewing them on our website. We will endeavour to remove your personal details (signature, telephone number and email address) to comply with the Data Protection act 1998.
Where appropriate, we may seek amendments to the application to overcome concerns that have been raised. If there are significant amendments to the application, we will notify you again and give you another opportunity to comment. We encourage you to provide an email address to enable us to contact you quickly.
It is really important that we receive your comments as early as possible in the application process. This allows us, where appropriate, time to negotiate with applicants and for them to make amendments to improve the proposal. Such amendments can often address concerns expressed by neighbours, town and parish councils and other consultees.
Local Elected Members
How we reach a decision
In the interests of efficiency the Head of Planning determines approximately 90% of applications under delegated powers. The other 10% of applications are determined by the Planning Committee, which comprises elected Councillors, and the meetings are held once a month on a Wednesday at 6pm. A written report is prepared on each application before the committee, which will summarise any responses received and will make a recommendation to either grant or refuse the application. You are welcome to attend any Planning committee and view the agenda papers which are available 5 working days before the date of the meeting. If you wish to speak at the meeting please see speaking at Planning Committee for more information
After a decision is made
Once an application has been determined the Decision Notice will be placed on the electronic application file and be available for viewing electronically at the council’s offices and on our website in the Planning Decision Register.
Keeping you informed
You can look at the progress of an application using our website. Simply type the application number into the search facility to find full details of the application including any key dates and details of the representations and consultation responses received.
If you have provided us with an email address with your comments we will let you know when a decision has been issued on the application. We recommend you register for email or text alerts so we can notify you of any subsequent further planning applications, requests to discharge conditions or applications for non material minor amendments to any approved applications in your area.
If permission is granted
A planning permission may include conditions, restricting for example the hours a use can operate or preventing additional windows being added to an elevation.
Those who have made comments have no legal right to appeal against our decision. However if you are unhappy with the way we have arrived at our decision, you can make a complaint. Please refer to our ‘How to complain to the council’ web page for further information. If you remain dissatisfied, you can contact the on 0845 602 1983.
If permission is refused
Applicants can either re-apply for planning permission with an alternative scheme, or they can appeal against the refusal, for further information on the appeal process, please visit the Planning Inspectorate's website via the link below.
If the applicant appeals
The applicant has six months from the date of decision to appeal against a refusal of permission or against conditions imposed on a permission. If the appeal relates to a householder application we will send the comments we received during the consultation period to the Planning Inspectorate and there will not be a further opportunity for you to make comments. We will inform you of any other type of appeal and you can write to the Inspectorate with your comments. If the appeal is allowed, our decision could be overturned and conditions could be replaced or removed. However, if the appeal is dismissed, our decision remains the same but the applicant is still free to re-apply for permission with an amended proposal.
The Planning Inspectorate deal with the processing of planning and enforcement appeals and the holding of inquiries into local development plans and frameworks.
Last reviewed: 05 - 02 - 2013