Comment on planning applications

How do I comment?

Please note: All correspondence received regarding planning applications will be held on the planning files and will be available for public inspection in person at the council offices and on the council's website. For this reason, letters marked 'confidential' cannot be considered.

You can use our Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access system. You will need to know the application reference or the address relating to the application. You can also use Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access to track and monitor the progress of any application you are interested in and be notified of any changes or updates by email.

Or you can write to the Planning (Development Management) section. If you write to us please quote the application reference number and address of the application.

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What is a valid objection?

We can only take into account comments which relate to the application:

  • Relevant planning policies
  • Previous decisions
  • Planning policies
  • Highway safety, traffic and parking
  • Noise, disturbance, traffic and smells
  • Design, appearance, materials, character
  • Overlooking, loss of privacy and light
  • Effect on trees
  • Effect on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

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What matters are not valid objections?

  • Matters controlled by other legislation, e.g. licensing, private property rights/covenants
  • Effect on value of property
  • Personal or financial circumstances
  • Loss of view
  • Moral or religious issues

The Planning Officer dealing with the application will form a professional view on the acceptability or otherwise of the proposal. This may involve assessing specialist comments from our colleagues in other departments, statutory consultees, parish councils and other community bodies as well as comments from local residents. They will then weigh up all of the issues arising from the proposal before making a recommendation to their Team Leader or Planning Services Manager.

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What happens when I comment on a planning application?

All correspondence received regarding planning applications will be held on the planning files and will be available for public inspection in person at the council offices and on the Councils' website.

For this reason, letters marked 'confidential' cannot be considered.

Letters will not be acknowledged.

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What will we do about your objections and comments?

We can only take into account matters that are relevant to making a decision on the planning application itself. Examples of matters that are likely to be relevant or not relevant are set out below:

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How the application is decided on

Decisions on most planning applications are made by the council's planning Officers under delegated powers. However, if the application is for a major proposal (defined by the Government as 10 or more dwellings or over 1,000 square metres of commercial floorspace) it will be referred to the relevant Planning Committee for a decision. In addition, any application recommended for approval that would be contrary to adopted policies would also have to be referred to the Planning Committee.

If the application is to be determined by the Planning Committee and you have made representations you will receive written notification of the date, time and venue for the meeting. You will also be given the opportunity to speak at the meeting. The Council's Scheme of Delegation also enables local Members to request, not more than 28 days after the application is validated, that an application is brought before the Planning Committee.

Councillors sitting on the Planning Committee would receive a report which includes details of any representations which have been received, a detailed planning assessment of the scheme together with the Officer's recommendation. There will also be a presentation of the application by an Officer, usually with plans and photos of the site.

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What if you are not happy with the decision?

Third parties have no right of appeal (an applicant does). The decision report, which is available on Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access, will detail how the decision was made. However the Case Officer will explain the reasoning which led to the decision if you are still unclear. Once a planning decision has been made, it cannot be reversed except in the most exceptional of circumstances where for instances the Council has made a mistake in law.

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