We encourage the community to participate in the planning process which helps to shape and form the environment in which we all live, work and enjoy in our leisure time. The involvement of the general public is valued, as it enables planning officials to reach a balanced view when deciding upon planning applications. Every member of the community has the right to comment on any planning application, and the purpose of this guide is to assist how best you might make your views known.
How do you comment on a planning application?
If you wish to support or object a planning application, the first step is for you to find out as much as you can about the details of the application. This can be achieved either by discussing the proposal with the applicant, by inspecting the application via the planning explorer or at the Customer Service Centres in Burton or Uttoxeter.
If you then decide you wish to make comments on the application, you can do so within the application you are viewing, where it states ‘add comments here’. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to East Staffordshire Borough Council, P.O. Box 8045, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 9JG.
Please refer to the what details should you include in your comments page.
Please check the deadline for submitting comments, as there is a specific time period to work to.
Please note that a petition with more than one name on it will be counted as one representation and correspondence will be sent to the first name shown on the petition.
If you make comments on a planning application, we do not currently publish these online. However they are available for inspection by the public and copies may be loaded to the website if requested.
If you are requesting to speak at the planning applications committee, we may need to pass on your contact details to other speakers who have requested to speak on the same application. This is because there is a combined total of 3 minutes for all objectors to make their public address, and the same for supporters of the application. Sharing the contact details allows requestors to collaborate a response together.
What happens next?
The council has given delegated powers to the development control team, which are a wide range of powers to determine many planning applications without the need to report to the planning applications committee. Where representations are received within the agreed time periods, these will be taken into account in the determination of the application. Please see the "is there a time period for making a comment?" section above for further information. You should note that all representations received will be available for public scrutiny. Depending on the number of objections, the application may be dealt with under delegated powers or by the planning application committee.
The planning applications committee generally meets every four weeks in the Town Hall, King Edward Place, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2EB. Should you wish to find out if the application will be dealt with by the planning applications committee you should contact the relevant case officer. Planning staff can give more information on committee dates.
Where an application is determined by the planning applications committee, a report will be prepared by the planning officer regarding the proposal, and will refer to the letters received, summarising the points raised and include an evaluation of the issues. The report concludes by making a recommendation to the committee as to how the application should be determined. The committee agenda and the papers will be available for public inspection five working days in advance of the committee meeting. It is the committee's practice to allow members of the public who have submitted a letter regarding an application to speak at the Committee meetings, although numbers are limited. The same policy applies to the applicant. All meetings are held in public, and you may attend to listen to the debate.
There is no right of appeal by objectors against the decision of the planning authority regarding a planning application. An applicant may submit an appeal to the planning inspectorate should the application be refused or where it is approved with conditions, when this occurs, you will as an objector be notified and given the opportunity to express your views to the planning inspectorate (apart from fast track appeals).
Local government ombudsman
Should you consider that the council has not followed the correct procedures in dealing with the planning application then you may want to contact the local government ombudsman. The ombudsman is not able to change the decision, but can investigate whether the way in which the council has made the decision or complies with legal and statutory requirements. The ombudsman is appointed as an independent adjudicator and can investigate where there appears to have been maladministration by the local authority. If you consider that you have suffered an injustice as a result of maladministration on the part of the council, then you can ask the ombudsman to investigate.
What else can you do?
You could discuss your comments with your local councillor. Alternatively you could contact your parish council, who are a statutory consultee in the planning process and frequently submit views to represent the local community.
Frequently asked questions
How do I find the application number?
The application number is on the consultation letter, or any site notice or newspaper advert. If you do not know it, you can search the planning explorer for the site address or use the online mapping system to locate the application.
What if I need more help?
If you are housebound, need an interpreter, or have a disability that makes it difficult to view or understand the plans, please contact us and we will arrange further help.
What will you do with my comments?
We will make sure your comments are properly recorded and considered. Where appropriate, we will seek changes to the application to overcome planning concerns and if changes are made we may consult you again. If the application goes to the planning applications committee, we will tell them your comments. Any comments made can be made available for public inspection.
Need more help?
If you require any further help please contact us.