Responding to Planning Applications
Both the Planning and Policy Group and local groups within CPRE Hampshire aim to keep abreast of major developments in their area and run specific campaigns - see for example SHUV (South Hampshire's Unheard Voices). However, the character of our countryside is affected by the cumulative affect of many individual planning applications, whether they are for new developments or extensions to existing housing. Many local amenity societies and Parish Councils play an active role in reviewing and commenting on planning applications within their area, and individuals are encouraged to work with these organisations.
There are often situations where individuals want to make their own response to a specific application. To help you with this CPRE national office have put together an 8-step guide. You'll also find more useful advice at CPRE's Planning Help website.
The 8-Step Guide
This recently updated (2012) 64-page guide takes you through the 8 key steps you will need to follow to respond to a specific planning application. In outline the eight steps are:
- Look at the planning application - by law these have to be accessible and most councils have full documentation of new applications on their websites.
- Visit the site of the proposed development - this helps you visualise how a new development would fit in with its surroundings.
- Decide your stance on the application - you may want to support (since good developments can enhance the local environment), object or suggest improvements. It is important to stick to principles and consider whether it sets a precedent.
- Examine the local development plan - local authorities are bound to accept or reject an application according to how well it conforms to its local development plan. Many villages also have Village Design Statements that are taken into account. Identify which relevant sections of the various policy documents support your stance.
- Decide on your action - will you make a formal comment or objection, or are you satisfied that the proposal is acceptable?
- Put your comments in writing - you normally have between 2-4 weeks to do this. Don't rely just on your local society to reflect your views. Often, it is the number of individual comments that will influence decision makers.
- Gather support - get support from your community and make sure that local councillors and others are aware of your position. For key sites, you may like to persuade the decision makers to make a site visit.
- Speak at committee meetings - some coucnils will allow members of the public to speak at planning meetings on controversial applications. Check with your local authority.
This page last updated 22nd February 2012.