Should I bother to object to a planning application?

Won’t the Council take my needs into consideration anyway?

That’s the £64,000 question! In principle all Councils should represent the needs of local communities, however there is no guarantee that they will take your point of view into consideration – especially when they don’t know your point of view!

The whole point of public consultation is to enable people like you to make your case either for or against the application in a way which will guide the planning officer & planning committee to making a positive decision for the community.

Current National Planning Policy guides local authorities to approve sustainable development. There is no longer a presumption against development (as was the case a few years ago) and so they need to be able to prove the application is not sustainable before they can refuse it. This is where you come in.

There have been many occasions where planning officers & planning committees have been misled (or at least tactically guided) by applicants in such a way that they have missed important points which communities and individuals have subsequently introduced, and guided the officer & committee towards reasons for refusal which had first been missed.

In short Council should take your views and needs into consideration, however they rely on planning objections (and support) to raise issues that will lead them towards the right decision; whatever that may be.

The most important thing is to raise material considerations as reasons for refusal – and to assess and comment on the sustainability of an application – by doing this you are giving yourself the best possible opportunity for the council to support your position.

In other words YES! – your opinion counts!

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