Comment on planning applications

How do I make a 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 councils' website. For this reason, letters marked 'confidential' cannot be considered.

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

You can view applications without the need to register or login, but with a simple registration process you can track the progress of an application, submit comments and save searches to receive email alerts on a specific application. Please be aware that your comments (and details) will be placed on this website and be open to public inspection.

By clicking the following link to use Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access you agree to the terms of use (see below):

See also note below button about viewing comments that may have been made by other people on an application

How do I view comments already made by other people on an application?

  • Open the Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access system using the 'comment on a planning applications' button link above
  • Search for and open the planning application you are interested in by address or application number

To see if any comments have been made: 

  • Click on the 'Comments' tab
  • Then click on the 'Public comments' button
  • This will show if any comments have been made and how many - note the 'expand' and 'collapse' buttons do not have any effect

If a comment(s) has been made then to view what has been said: 

  • Click on the 'Related Documents' tab
  • Then click on 'view associated documents' on the page - this will open up the documents available to view in a new tab in your browser window
  • In the list of documents you are then looking for 'representations' (look for them in the 'document description' column) - there may be more than one 'page' of documents related to the planning application, so you may have to select a different page of documents to find the representations
  • If you then click on the 'blue underlined planning application ref number' next to each 'representation' (comment) they will open up in another tab in your browser and you can then read what was said in each them

Please note:

  • If you have an enquiry you can email comments on a planning application to the planning team directly on:
  • If you write to us or email 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, eg 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. For examples of matters that are likely to be relevant or not relevant please see:

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Criteria for redaction

As part of the process of considering letters of representation, the planning section will check whether the comments requires redaction. Where redaction is required, a word or words will be blacked out so that members of the public will not be able to view the content.

Cases where redaction may apply could include, and are not limited to:

  • signatures
  • personal telephone numbers and email addresses (this does not include commercial or business email address)
  • redaction of the face of anyone in a photograph
  • any medical or other data about an individual's health or wellbeing (including the applicant)
  • comments or information Planning Services consider to be derogatory or offensive, or any unfounded allegations against the council or any persons, particularly where referring to criminal activity
  • any other comments that raise matters considered to be unrelated to the planning application in question

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How the application is decided on

Decisions on most planning applications are made by the councils' 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 councils' 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 will detail how the decision was made, and be available on Adur & Worthing Planning Public Access. 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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Terms of use


  • the service continues to be developed, however at the present time no constraint information is available online
  • the online planning history contained within the site at present is incomplete and must not be used as a substitute for carrying out a formal land charge search
  • no responsibility will be taken for any errors or omissions in the planning history information obtained from Public Access
  • similarly the information contained within Public Access does not constitute in any way a formal notification of a planning decision, and as such any actions taken as a result of information displayed on the site are undertaken entirely at the viewer's own risk

Copyright notice:

  • plans, drawing and material submitted to the council are protected by the Copyright Acts (Section 47, 1988 Act).
  • you may only use material which is downloaded and/or printed for consultation purposes, to compare current applications with previous schemes and to check whether developments have been completed in accordance with approved plans. Further copies must not be made without the prior permission of the copyright owner

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Page last updated: 16 October 2023

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