How to comment on/object to a planning application
This has been written by a local person to help you get started. It is not intended as complete guide, neither is it a legal or official document.
Most planning applications will be decided by Chichester District Council (CDC).
You need to tell CDC what you think about the application.
Choose View Planning Applications
Find the application you want.
It will probably a include a lot of supporting documents. Read them before you make a comment. Make notes while you read them to make sure you don’t forget anything when making your comment.
Look at the CDC advice on how to make a comment. There are more suggestions below, taken from other councils’ websites.
The CDC planning website tends to freeze quite often or be unavailable. Write your comments in a separate document, then upload it. Otherwise you could lose it all.
How do I find out about planning applications?
You can sign up to alerts from CDC. See the screen shot. Scroll down, and there is an option to sign up for email alerts.
Or you can find applications in the Chichester Observer every week.
What shall I write?
Write about what matters to you. Is it traffic? Is it lack of school places? Do you think the planned development looks wrong for its surroundings?
Write about what you know. If you know the local school is full, make that point.
If you know sewage has to be collected in a tanker because the system cannot cope, include that, preferably with details of when, where and how often.
Point out mistakes in the documents. Some of them are desktop documents, meaning no one has actually been to the site before preparing them. You live locally and can see for yourself when something is wrong. For example, proposing a 2-metre wide pavement for a 5- metre wide road is not going to work. Measure the road and put that in your comment.
Some documents use out of date information taken from the internet. For example, saying there is a bus service to a site when it was stopped 2 years. Add that to your comment.
The CDC website gives advice on what to include and what won’t be accepted. This is mostly based on planning law and regulations.
Being rude or making personal attacks will not be accepted.
Other websites have suggested sustainable communities is an important topic. Put simply, this is where people live, work, go to school, enjoy their free time, have access to open spaces and local services without having to drive. Does that apply to a planning application, or will it create more car journeys?
Who else can help me?
Organisations which care about the same things as you. Their websites can give useful information. For example, the CPRE writes about protecting the countryside https://www.cpre.org.uk.
Save Our South Coast Alliance SOSCA writes about protecting the coast https://www.sosca.org.uk/.
West Sussex County Council publish details of traffic accidents/incidents
Parish clerks can help you find information
Local social media groups like NextDoor can help people share information and ideas, and stop you feeling overwhelmed
Complaining on social media is pointless. It may make you feel better, but it will have no impact at all on the planning process. You have to comment on or object to the application.
What else can I do?
Write to your parish and district councillors. You can find their contact details on parish council websites and on the CDC website.
Write to the Chichester Observer.
Why bother? Will it make any difference?
Doing nothing is a gift to developers. They can claim that the plan is acceptable because so few people bothered to comment. The “silent majority” are surely in favour or they would have objected?
Developers probably prefer a simple life. Far better, cheaper and simpler to keep developing in an area where the local residents never complain, never object.
Planners cannot ignore comments unless they are totally irrelevant, rude or break the law.
Planners can reject the application but can also put restrictions or conditions on any approval.
You have one chance to object or comment. It is too late once permission has been given.