How to check the progress and comment on a planning application

How to search for a planning application

You can search for a specific planning application that has been submitted to us online. Our online search facility will allow you to view all the associated documents and plans which were submitted with a particular application. Alternatively, you can  also have a look at these applications at our main offices.

We are legally required to publicise all planning applications and we do this by way of a letter and/or notices, at the site and/or within local newspapers. You can also view our weekly lists of planning applications online.

How to comment on planning applications

Anyone can comment on a planning application, either for or against the development proposal. These must be on valid planning grounds, and be in writing within 21 days of the date on the published letter, site notice or press advert.

You can make a comment through our online planning application search facility. You will need to register your details first. Comments can also be submitted by email to planning@stevenage.gov.uk or in writing to us at our main offices.

If you submit anonymous comments, these will carry significantly less weight when the application is being considered by us. We do acknowledge in writing any representations made to us and, if you have objected to a planning application, we will tell you by letter if the application is going to be heard by the Planning Committee giving you details of when and where this will take place.

What is a valid objection?

We can only take into account planning issues when considering your comments. The list below is not exhaustive, but is designed to show the most common examples:

  • Adequacy of parking/loading/turning;
  • Archaeology;
  • Conflict with planning policies;
  • Design, appearance and materials;
  • Disabled access;
  • Effect on listed building and conservation area;
  • Hazardous materials;
  • Highway safety;
  • Landscaping;
  • Loss of light/overshadowing;
  • Loss of privacy;
  • Loss of trees;
  • Nature conservation;
  • Noise and disturbance resulting from use;
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions);
  • Proposals/policies in the development plan;
  • Road access;
  • Smells;
  • Traffic generation;
  • Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)

What cannot be considered?

We cannot take into account matters which are not planning considerations. Again, the list below is not exhaustive but includes:

  • Applicant’s motives;
  • Boundary disputes;
  • Fence lines;
  • Impact during construction;
  • Loss of property value;
  • Loss of trade and competitors;
  • Loss of view;
  • Ownership disputes over rights of way;
  • Personal morals or views about the application;
  • Private disputes between neighbours;
  • Restrictive covenants.

Taking your views into account

When we receive your comments, we will place them online as the planning application is a public document. All letters for and against which have been submitted to us, including all submissions which have been made online or by email, will be fully considered when deciding on a particular application.

It is not possible for us to respond to comments raised in individual letters due to the amount of correspondence we receive. However, you can view the officer’s report upon request which will set out the relevant planning policies and details your comments so you can understand the basis on which the decision was made. Our officer’s report and the decision notice will contain any details of conditions that have been placed on the approval, or reasons why the application was refused.

If the application is to be decided by the Planning Committee, your views will be included in the report for councillors who sit on that committee to consider. At the committee meeting, there is also an opportunity for your views to be put forward in person. One person will be allowed to speak for up to three minutes in favour of the application and one person to speak for up to three minutes against. Requests to speak at the meeting are dealt with on a first-come, first served basis.

If you would like to speak at committee, you must register to do so by either calling us or by email planning@stevenage.gov.uk or by contacting the planning department by telephone.

To view the schedule of our Planning Committee Meetings or to view a particular Committee Report, please visit our Planning Committee report and information page.

How will I know what the decision is?

If you received a letter from us telling you about the application and you subsequently commented to us, then we will write to you again to tell you what the decision is. Unfortunately, we cannot notify everyone who has an interest in the application because of resource restrictions, but you can see the full list of our decisions to our online register.

Only the applicant can appeal a decision which has be made by us. If any appeal is made and you commented on the earlier application, you will be notified and invited to write to the Planning Inspectorate with your comments. Any previous comments you made will also be passed onto the Inspector accordingly.

Confidentiality

All representations which are made in writing by you become part of the application file and are open to be viewed and copied by the applicant or by other members of the public. Representations cannot be treated as confidential or kept private.
 
Planning applications which are published on this website are subject to copyright restrictions.