Some months ago I wrote about planning consultation. This is an open process and one where you can express your views.
There is a consultation period during which you may make comments to Shropshire Council. This is normally three weeks but, in practice, the Council will accept comments up until a day or two before the application is decided.
Only a minority (less than 5%) of applications go to planning committee. Most will be decided by officers, so it is best to get comments in promptly. If the application is amended, or if a further issue comes to mind after you have made your initial comments, you may submit a further comment.
Objections will generally only carry weight with the planning officer or committee if they are made on “material planning considerations”. These include issues such as loss of sunlight or privacy, highway issues, noise and smells, and the effect on listed buildings and conservation areas.
Shropshire Council’s planning policies, the National Planning Policy Framework and for those of us within the parish, the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan, provide important references. You don’t need to get your hands on these documents to know that you best understand your surroundings. You can make a comment in either support of, or objection to, a planning application by:
- Online: http://planningpa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Letter: Development Management, Cantern Brook, Stanley Lane, Bridgnorth, WV16 4SF
Your town or parish council is an important consultee to the planning process. If you have a particular concern about a planning matter it is perfectly in order to contact your local council to express your view. Provided this is done early enough, it will ensure that parish and town councillors have the opportunity to be well informed about your views before they submit their comments to Shropshire Council.