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How to comment on applications

Anyone can comment on a planning application, but your comments must be made in writing. If you do not provide your name and address your comments will be treated as anonymous and given little weight during the decision making process. 

Please ensure that you have considered what you wish to say and that they are matters that we can consider in deciding the application.

Due to the high volume of comments we receive, we do not acknowledge receipt of comments made or engage in discussion regarding an application.

 Note: You are only able to comment on applications not yet decided. We recommend you visit our Public Access service and check to see if the consultation period has ended.

Matters that can be considered

We are only able to take account of material planning considerations. In considering an application, the council has a statutory duty to have regard to the provisions of the development plan and any other “material considerations”. The most common “material considerations” include the following, although the list is not exhaustive.

Matters which are normally taken into account

  • The council's planning policies
  • Central Government planning guidance
  • Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours, by reason of (among other factors) noise*, disturbance*, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. [*but note that this does not include noise or disturbance arising from the actual execution of the works, which will not be taken into account, except possibly in relation to conditions that may be imposed on the planning permission,dealing with hours and methods of working, etc. during the development] 
  • The size, appearance, layout and density of the proposed development
  • Visual impact of the development
  • Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood
  • Design (including bulk and massing, detailing and materials, if these form part of the application)
  • The proposed development is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity
  • The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners
  • [If in a Conservation Area, adverse effect of the development on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area]
  • [If near a Listed Building, adverse effect of the development on the setting of the Listed Building.]
  • The development would adversely affect highway safety or the convenience of road users [but only if there is technical evidence to back up such a claim]
  • Daylight, sunlight and overshadowing
  • Overlooking (but not loss of view) or loss of privacy
  • Means of access, parking, servicing, traffic generation, highway safety
  • Impact on landscape and ecological habitats
  • Crime prevention and community safety
  • Effect on listed buildings, conservation areas and archaeology
  • Noise and disturbance
  • Air quality and odours
  • Ground contamination
  • Flood risk
  • Renewable energy, sustainability of proposed development
  • Previous appeal decisions
  • Hazardous materials/ground contamination
  • Loss of trees
  • Design, visual appearance and materials
  • Landscaping
  • Disabled persons’ access

 

Matters which cannot normally be taken into account

  • The racial or ethnic origin of the applicant, their sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views or affiliations or any other personal attributes
  • The reasons or motives of the applicant in applying for planning permission (for example if the development is thought to be purely speculative) 
  • Any profit likely to be made by the applicant
  • The behaviour of the applicant
  • Nuisance or annoyance previously caused by the applicant [unless this relates to an existing development for which retrospective permission is being sought]
  • Concerns about possible future development of the site (as distinct from the actual development which is currently being proposed)
  • Any effect on the value of neighbouring properties
  • Other non-planning laws, e.g.  alcohol or gaming licences
  • Private property matters such as:
  • Boundary and access disputes
  • Right to light
  • Damage to property during construction
  • Private rights of way
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Private drains
  • Effects on property value
  • Trade competition or loss of business
  • Loss of view
  • Problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of work, etc.
  • Matters controlled under Building Regulations such as structural safety and fire prevention

How are my comments used?

  • Your comments including any personal details will form part of the planning file and will only be used in the planning decision-making process.
  • The planning file is a public document and will be available for inspection at the Council Offices to whoever wishes to see it.
  • The information may also be released as part of a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • The planning file will be retained indefinitely at the council offices.
  • In the event of an appeal against a refusal of planning permission for Householder applications only, representations made at the application stage are those that will be taken forward if an appeal against refusal is subsequently made, and that there will be no further opportunity to comment.
  • All personal information provided to Walsall Council will be handled in line with our obligations under data protection law. We will ensure your information is handled securely and confidentially whilst complying with all of our statutory and legal obligations. Full details of how we use your information can be found by clicking on the following privacy link – www.walsall.gov.uk/privacy.

Planning application search disclaimer

Introduction and Agreements

The Planning website is a free on-line Internet service that enables you to access planning information held the Council’s computerised planning systems. Our Planning Interactive service has been designed to be comprehensive and easy to use. Information and Help options are provided for each page and it is recommended these be checked before proceeding. However, before starting off it is necessary for all users to agree to our terms and conditions of use, summarised below.

1. General disclaimer as regards land and property information provided

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information held on this system neither can be guaranteed. You are recommended to check before acting on the information supplied.

Please note that all address-based information held on this system may not match the National Gazetteer of addresses and hence cannot be relied upon for the purposes of address-based searching.

2. Copyright must be adhered to

Further copies may not be made without prior permission of the copyright owner.

Plans, drawings and material submitted to the Council are protected by the Data Protection Act and the Copyright Act and are provided under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under these Acts, you may only use material which is downloaded and / or printed in order to: Inspect and comment upon a current planning application (i.e. one that has not yet been decided) to compare current applications with previous schemes to check whether developments are being/have been completed in accordance with approved plans.

In general, the owner of plans and elevations will be the applicant and / or agent, and Ordnance Survey in the case of maps and site plans.

3. Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Data Protection Act 1998 imposes restrictions on the ways in which the Council can hold and deal with personal data such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses etc. In compliance with the requirements of the Act, the general provision of personal details on our web site has been kept to a practicable minimum. Accordingly, any personal information provided on our web site is not to be used for any purpose other than the uses stated above. Hence our search engines do not offer the option to search on the name of the applicant.

All representations received by the Council with respect to commenting on any planning applications and public consultations will normally be made available to the general public. If you wish to comment on a planning application, you may prefer that certain personal details, such as your private telephone number and e-mail address, are not to be recorded on the public register, in which case you should ensure that such details are not contained within your comments.

With regards to commenting on planning applications please note that if you do not provide your name and address they will be treated as an anonymous and given little weight. However, having regard to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all Planning Register information relating to an application such as application forms, plans, drawings etc, together with 3rd party letters, faxes and emails etc, are generally available for public viewing at The Civic Centre without restriction. The only exceptions relate to matters that in our judgment are of a personal nature or defamatory or otherwise in breach of the law.

All personal information provided to Walsall Council will be handled in line with our obligations under data protection law. We will ensure your information is handled securely and confidentially whilst complying with all of our statutory and legal obligations. Full details of how we use your information can be found by using the privacy link on our website – www.walsall.gov.uk/privacy.

 

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