Alternatively, plans and documents associated with planning applications can be also be viewed at Sedgemoor District Council's offices in Bridgwater House, or by contacting your local Town or Parish Council.
Commenting on Planning Applications
How to comment on an application
Written comments can be submitted in a number of ways:
- Online - Comment on or search for a planning application by visiting: Planning Online
- E-mail - Submit written comments by e-mail to: email@example.com
- Letter - Send letters to: Planning, Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3AR
Please quote the application number and clearly state if you are objecting or supporting the application, please also include your postal address as anonymous representations will not be considered or acknowledged.
Comments have to be received within the period stated in the letter, website, newspaper or site notice, so that your views can be taken into account. We often receive large numbers of comments on planning applications and generally we are unable to enter into correspondence on issues raised.
When submitting your comments please note the following:
- Documents should be in portrait orientation
- Photos should be dated
- Due to licensing issues we are unable to use Google Maps, however Ordnance Survey maps or maps produced using our Interactive Mapping Tool can be used
- If submitted electronically emails with attachments should be no bigger than 10MB
The Access to Information Act 1985 means that we cannot regard any representations as confidential and they will be viewable to the public. It is therefore very much in your interest that your comments deal fairly with the proposed development, and do not include statements you do not want published. Please ensure that you only provide information that you are happy to be made available to others. If you supply information belonging to a third party, please ensure you have their permission to do so. In line with data protection, we will endeavour to remove telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and signatures from any comments displayed on our website.
Points to consider when commenting
Only relevant planning matters can be taken into account by the Case Officer when reaching their recommendation. Important considerations include:
- National, Regional and Local Planning Policy and guidance.
- The appearance and character of the area or street, including the design and material of buildings, landscaping and tree loss,
- Other environmental issues (e.g. noise),
- Traffic generation and road safety,
- Impact of the building on its neighbours (e.g. overshadowing, overlooking or loss of privacy),
- Effects on the landscape and the need to protect the open countryside.
If you are not opposed in principle but believe that restrictions should be placed on the development (e.g. hours of working, appropriate materials) then you may wish to suggest conditions that Sedgemoor District Council could impose on any consent.
Many issues cannot be taken into account by the Case Officer when assessing an application, some of these are:
- Civil matters such as land ownership, private rights of way and restrictive covenants. These are usually private matters on which objectors may need to get legal advice.
- The fact that development may have already begun. If permission is refused the Council has powers to have the matter rectified.
- Matters that fall within other legislation, for example, building regulations or consent to discharge to a watercourse.
- Loss of an attractive view from a private property.
- The fear that an objector's house may be devalued.
What happens next
Any written representations received will be considered by the Case Officer when making their recommendation.
In most cases applications will be determined under delegated powers without the need to be reported to the Development Committee. Where an application is to be reported to the Development Committee and determined by elected Members (Local Councillors), a report is prepared by the Case Officer. The report will address all the relevant planning issues raised, include a summary of any points made in letters of representation and contain a recommendation based on Sedgemoor District Council's planning policies and material considerations identified in this leaflet.
Once a decision has been made
The applicant has a right of appeal. An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a householder application is dealt with on the basis of representations in writing and any representations made about the application will be sent to the Secretary of State and there will be no further opportunity to comment at the appeal stage. Householder developments deal with house extensions, garages, enlargements to gardens, erection of walls and fences to domestic properties, or any other outbuildings within the curtilage of a property.
For other types of applications that are refused, the applicant has the right to appeal within 6 months of the date of the decision (2 months for refusals of advertisement consent) and if an appeal is lodged and you have commented on the application, we will write to you again and explain the procedure.
If an application is approved, neighbours and third parties who objected do not have a right of appeal. However, if you think the Council made an unreasonable decision or did not properly consider your comments, the Council has a formal complaints procedure, for information call 0300 303 7800. If you are still not satisfied, you may approach the Local Government Ombudsman who, although unable to overturn a decision or support a complaint made solely on the basis that the Council's decision is wrong, will rule on whether there has been maladministration causing injustice. Further information can be obtained through the Ombudsman Advice line on 0845 602 1983 or at Local Government Ombudsman.