Commenting on a Planning Application

Members of the public have the right to comment on most types of planning applications. Comments should be made during the consultation period, however should the decision process allow, they may be accepted after the consultation period has ended. To find out when the consultation process ends or more about the application use our Search for a Planning Application facility.

  • Comments submitted to the Council cannot be treated as confidential.  Your name, address and comments will be available to the public on the Council's website and your comments will be a public document.
  • E-mail addresses, telephone numbers and signatures will be removed before publication onto our website.
  • Comments received are usually available to view online within 3 working days of their receipt.
  • If you do not have access to the internet, you can use the self-service computers at all South Hams and West Devon Council Offices.  Council staff can help you use the Planning pages of our websites if you need assistance to view applications and make comments electronically, or alternatively, post your comments to any of the Council Offices.  Please make sure that your quote the correct planning reference and your name and full address including postcode in any correspondence.  Failure to provide a valid postal address may deem your comment unacceptable.address in correspondence.

What can I comment on?

As a rule, comments should:

  • Be a material planning consideration for the application,
  • Support the application or;
  • Object to the application.

When commenting on planning applications, please ensure that what you say is relevant to planning, as the council can only take into account material planning considerations. 

This list is not exhaustive but it gives a clear idea of the sort of comments that are relevant to the consideration of a planning application.

  • Car parking provision.
  • Design, including appearance, layout, scale, density and materials.
  • Highway safety issues.
  • Impact on important trees.
  • Impact on the character or appearance of a conservation area or a Listed Building.
  • Local drainage or flooding issues.
  • Planning policies and guidance.
  • Loss of important open spaces or community facilities.
  • Noise disturbance, smells, obtrusive lighting or other impacts on amenity.
  • Overdominance.
  • Overshadowing and loss of light.
  • Proposed landscaping.
  • The planning history of a site.
  • Traffic generation.

What can't I comment on?

Comments that are not material planning considerations will not be taken into account.

Examples of what is not considered a material planning consideration could be:

  • Loss of value to your property.
  • Loss of a view.
  • Boundary and neighbour disputes.
  • Impact on private drainage systems.
  • Inappropriate or personal comments.
  • Breach of covenant.

How do I comment on a planning application?

  • Click on the Search for a Planning Application function.
  • Search for the planning application.
  • Select the planning application.
  • Scroll down to "Comment on this application".
  • Enter your details.
  • Select which material consideration(s) relate to your comments.
  • Provide your comments (up to 2000 characters) relating to each of the material considerations, providing a clear heading for each. (to prevent any timing out issues, we recommend you draft your comments in a word editor, then copy and paste into the comments box).
  • Select your Overall View from the drop down list (Agree, Object, Undecided).
  • Attach any additional documents.
  • Once you have completed your comments press "Submit" - you will then be directed back to the application details page.

What happens after my comments are submitted?

  • All representations and responses received are reviewed by the Determining Officer alongside relevant planning polices and guidance prior to a decision being made.  As a result of comments, they may request further details from the applicant/agent or may re-advertise and/or re-consult appropriate bodies.
  • You will be able to check the progress of the application online, but you will not receive an individual response or be informed of any decision.
  • Most applications are dealt with under delegated powers where the decision is made by an officer following a full assessment and any necessary consultation with the Ward Member(s), however, some applications will be referred to the Development Management Committee. You will be informed if the application is referred to Committee where you may have the opportunity to speak.
  • You will be informed of any appeals following decision.

Remember, whilst we endeavour to consider all comments received up to the date of decision we cannot guarantee that comments received after the public consultation period will be considered.