National law states that we can only take into account planning policies and certain reasons for objecting when we consider a planning application. These are often called "material considerations".
There are some objections that we cannot take into account. These are often called "non-material considerations".
Before you comment on an application, we recommend you read the information below to understand what we can and cannot take into account. It is important to remember that the planning system does not exist to protect the private rights of one individual over another. Planning permission goes with the land and very rarely relates to an individual.
Normally, we can take into account the following:
- Non-compliance with national and local policies, including supplementary planning documents
- Design and appearance of the development
- Impact on landscape
- Layout and density of buildings
- Local needs (e.g. housing provision)
- Planning history of the site
- Overshadowing or an overbearing presence near a common boundary to the detriment of neighbours
- Overlooking or loss of privacy
- Loss of light
- Light pollution
- Health or crime fears
- Road issues: traffic generation, vehicle access, road safety
- Car parking provision
- Capacity of infrastructure (e.g. in the public drainage system or spaces in schools)
- Noise and disturbance resulting from use, including proposed hours of operation
- Loss of trees
- Impact on nature conservation interests and biodiversity opportunities
- Effect on listed buildings and conservation areas
- Impact on archaeological finds or sites
- Risk of flooding
- Lack of equal access to buildings and/or sites (e.g. for people with disabilities)
Normally, we cannot take into account the following:
- Loss of view
- Devaluation of property
- Matters controlled under building regulations or other non-planning legislation (e.g. structural stability, drainage details, fire precautions, matters covered by licences etc.)
- Concerns about the character of an applicant
- Private issues between neighbours e.g. land or boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of access, covenants etc.
- Problems arising from the construction period of any works (e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of working (covered by Control of Pollution Act).
- A better suggested use for a site
- Speculation about what an applicant may or may not do next
- Commercial competition
- Moral or religious objections