What Happens Next?
Make sure that your comments have been received by phoning the planning office, checking the website or asking for an acknowledgement to your email. If you wish to follow the application, contact the LPA to find out when the application will go to Planning Committee.
You are entitled to attend Planning Committee meetings to hear the applications being considered. Before attending read the planning officers report to the committee. This will tell you what information the committee is being given and what decision the officer is recommending they make.
Usually members of the public are given the opportunity to speak at committee meetings for 2 minutes. This time is strictly controlled so it is advisable to have a pre-written speech. The exact procedure will vary between councils, so talk to your LPA for more information about how you can get involved.
A decision on the application may be made at the Planning Committee meeting, but this is not necessarily the end of the process. If the application is refused permission by Planning Committee the applicant has 28 days to appeal the decision. If so the process is repeated at appeal stage. Do not assume your objections will automatically be represented at this stage. It is best to resubmit your comments.
Appeals against a decision
Applicants can take their application to appeal if it is refused. In England third parties i.e. the general public cannot appeal against a planning decision. However if you have made an objection to a planning application which is then refused and the developer appeals, you have the right to make further representations to this appeal, and if an inquiry is held, to appear at the inquiry to make your case. The Planning Inspectorate or LPA should get in contact with you with the details of what you have to do when the appeal is lodged.
If you disagree with the Planning Committee's decision, then it can be challenged in the courts, but only if there is evidence that the process by which the decision was made was unlawful. A judicial review can be very complex, lengthy and expensive, always take expert legal advice before heading down this route.