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Commenting

Information and guidance on how to comment on a planning application

How can I comment on an application?

Anyone can comment on a planning application. All Applications and Consents are available to view on the planning applications search page.

Your comments should be submitted in writing:

We cannot accept formal comments over the phone as they may be misinterpreted but we can accept comments on an audio recording if you are unable to provide written correspondence.

All correspondence should:-

  • Give your name and postal address (anonymous correspondence will not be taken into consideration)
  • Include the application number
  • Be received by the latest expiry date for the publicity and consultations

Note: Sometimes an application is also advertised by a yellow site notice near to the site and/or a notice in the press. The expiry date is the latest of the dates shown on this letter, a site notice or a press notice.

How we use and publish representations

All representations made to an application are published on our website until an application is determined. However, in respect of the current Data Privacy Laws, only your name and address would be publically viewable along with the content of your representation; all other personal information (email address, telephone number, and signatures for example) will remain confidential. If you feel that additional controls need to be put in place to protect your details, please make this clear in your reply along with a reason. Anonymous representations are not taken into account.

Our Technical Support Team has received training to identify information or details which should not be publically available and our software enables us to redact such details prior to publishing. If you believe that we have published information that we shouldn't have, please bring this to our attention at the earliest opportunity.

Representations are displayed on the website until the application is determined. They are then retained on our systems in line with our Retention and Disposal Policy, for a period of time post decision.

Our Privacy Notice is available online.

Relevant Comments

When making decisions on planning applications, the Council can only take into account relevant planning matters, they will disregard any objections or comments containing racial or defamatory comments.  Relevant planning matters include:

  • Impact on amenity, privacy or character of an area
  • Impact of traffic and road safety
  • Car parking and access
  • Visual impact
  • Effect in terms of noise and disturbance
  • Impact on the countryside
  • Impact on trees
  • Whether the proposal complies with local and national planning policies

We cannot take into account:

  • Effect on property value
  • Character or standing of the applicant
  • Private neighbour disputes
  • Matters covered by legislation other than planning
  • Protection of private view
  • Land ownership or property disputes
  • Financial competition unless of wider community effects
  • Moral objections

All relevant comments will be taken into account when reaching a decision on a planning application and will be recorded on the planning file.

When considering making comments try to acquaint yourself with the relevant planning policies against which the application will be considered. The current Development Plan for Boston Borough is the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan.

We do not acknowledge or respond to individual representations; however, we will write to you if the application is going to a planning committee and inform you once the final decision has been made. We will contact you using the same format that you use to contact us (i.e. e-mail, post).

As a result of negotiations the submitted details may change; case officers will use their discretion to decide whether the changes in the revised details are significant to require reconsultation and new publicity. If the changes are so significant, the Council may advise the applicant to submit a new planning application.

Any revisions to the application will be updated accordingly on our online planning register.

How do the council come to a decision?

Delegated decisions

The majority of planning applications are determined under Delegated Powers, as set out within the Scheme of Delegation; this means that the case officer assesses the application, considers it in line with local and national planning policies along with any representations received and any other material considerations. The Principal Planning Officer then checks the recommendation and the decision issued, with any changes made if required.

Planning Committee

Some planning applications are required to be determined by the Planning Committee. In this instance we will write to anyone who has expressed an interest in the application and advise of the date and time of the meeting and the procedures in place for public speaking etc.  

How do I find out about the decision?

The decision will be published on our planning list page.

 What if the application goes to appeal?

Those who have been consulted and/or made representations to an application will be informed if an application becomes subject to an appeal and the procedure will be explained to you. All representations received in relation to the planning application subject to appeal, will be passed onto the Planning Inspectorate for the Secretary of State for consdieration 

Please note - In the event of an appeal for Householder Development, Minor Commercial Development or Advertisement Consent there normally will be no further opportunity to make representations at appeal stage.

For further information regarding the Planning Appeals process, please visit - Planning appeals: procedural guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

What if I am not happy with the decision or service?

There are no rights of appeal for third parties who are unhappy with a planning decision.

If you think your comments have not been handled correctly or you are unhappy about some other aspect of our service please contact the Deputy Development Manager (details on the key contacts page).

If you believe that a decision is not legally correct you can challenge it in the High Court. You have 6 weeks from the date of the decision to do this.