Making Comments on Planning Applications
Until further notice due to the Coronavirus we are unable to accept PAPER planning applications, comments on planning applications, compliance complaints or forms relating to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) as all staff are now working from home. Planning applications must be made electronically via the planning portal www.planningportal.co.uk . Comments on planning applications must be made on the online by searching for the application on the website and entering a comment https://www.arun.gov.uk/weekly-lists , compliance complaints must be made on the online form https://www.arun.gov.uk/planning-compliance and the submission of CIL forms (with the exception of CIL Form 1 which must be submitted with the planning application itself) must be sent to CIL@arun.gov.uk.
We are working towards setting up a Development Control Committee for 27 May 2020 to determine planning applications in the normal way. The Government are setting out legislation on how this should be achieved. The Government sent a letter to local councils recently, which is attached here: Chief Planners Newsletter - March 2020.pdf [pdf] 135KB . There is currently no change to the Council’s scheme of delegation and applications will still need to be determined at a Committee meeting if necessary. It is highly likely that this meeting (and future meetings) will be held remotely or with a reduced number of members and details will be published when they have been agreed.
We will not issue any delegated officer decision to approve a major application or a minor application where there are a significant number of objections and the Parish/Town Council have not had the opportunity to comment because of the Covid 19 Pandemic until consultation has been carried out with the Chairman of the Development Control Committee and Portfolio Holder for Planning to confirm that they are in agreement that a decision can be issued.
Arun District Council publishes a list of planning applications where the public are invited to comment in the West Sussex Gazette in the Public Notices Section and on our website https://www.arun.gov.uk/weekly-lists . In addition a site notice will displayed near to the site to draw attention to the existence of an application. Arun District Council does not carry out neighbour notifications so individual householders will not be written to if there is a planning application in the vicinity. (The only exception to this is the specific Larger Householder Extension application where the legislation specifically requires adjoining neighbours to be written to. This type of application is not advertised as only the adjoining neighbours have the right to make comment)
Most types of planning applications have a 21 day public consultation period, in which members of the public and interested parties can make comments (known as representations) about the application. Comments should be received by the date stated on the site notice, in the West Sussex Gazette Planning Weekly list or the ‘comments due by’ date on the website. Unfortunately it is not possible for the council to respond to each letter individually but your views will be considered before the application is determined.
How to comment
Ideally any comments should be made using the online comment facility on the website. First you must search for the application using the search facility.
Once found click into the application details and then click into enter comment and type in your comment. There is a limit of 3800 characters. Once you have submitted your comment you will get a confirmation reference number and once the comment has been downloaded into our system you will get an email containing a copy of your comments. We try to do this on the next working day but depending on the volume of comments received it may take longer. A copy of this will also be published on the website.
It is best to use the online facility to make comments but if you send in your comments by email it is important that you quote the application reference number. You will not receive an acknowledgement. Your email letter will be scanned and placed on the website and you can check it has been received by checking the website. It can take up to 5 working days for it a letter to be published.
To view your representation on-line, carry out a planning application search and either enter the application reference number or the address. This will bring up a list of applications, click into the relevant application and click into ‘View documents’.
Please be aware that more than one letter may be batched together. It is also possible that you may get an error message when trying to view the documents. This is usually because the document is in the middle of the scanning and redacting process. If you still get an error message after 24 hours please contact us by telephoning 01903 737756
Whilst you are free to express any views you wish about the merits of an application, it is only material planning considerations which can be taken into account by the Local Planning Authority in determining the application. Further information on what is a material consideration can be found in How to respond to planning applications [pdf] 331KB.
Please make sure your views are clear and only include information that you are happy for the public to view. Do not include personal information, or information from third parties unless you have their permission to do so. If a complaint is received that permission has not been given for comments included about a third party, the Council reserves the right to redact/remove all relevant information.
The Council reserves the right to remove any information which is defamatory or breaches equalities or any other legislation.
All comments will be published on the website and will be available in the office. We will aim to redact signatures, telephone numbers and email addresses on the website, but they will be viewable on the original documents for people to see if they visit the Civic Centre Office. Please help us by not including this information within the comments section if you are submitting through the website, or in the main body of your letter. For details of what we do with your personal information please refer to our privacy statement comments on planning applications which is available on our website https://www.arun.gov.uk/planning-privacy-statements.
If after submitting your comments you decide that you do not wish them to appear on the website and on file you will need to confirm this in writing. The information will be removed but it means the contents will be disregarded.
If you do not wish to make a comment you may wish to speak to your local councillor or the local Parish Council about your views.
What happens next?
However you make your comment, your details will be recorded and you will be informed of the outcome of the application, if it is going to Development Control Committee and the arrangements for public speaking (providing that your representation has been recorded at the point of the notifications being generated).
If there is a subsequent planning appeal about a condition or refusal, any representations received on the original application will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and will be published on their website. Further information can be found on their website. They will redact any signatures, telephone numbers and email addresses. Please note that in certain cases, such as an appeal relating to a refusal on a householder, advert or certain minor commercial applications, there will be no further opportunity to make comments. The Planning Inspectorate will only consider the comments made on the original planning application.