Making Comments on Planning Applications


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

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.

 If you do wish to comment by letter your comments should be sent to the

Planning Department
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
BN17 5LF.

It is important that you quote the application reference number. You will not receive an acknowledgement. Your 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 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 emailing  or telephoning 01903 737756

If you send in your comments by email as opposed to on-line it will be treated in the same way as a letter.


Your Comments

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. 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. Signatures, telephone numbers and email addresses will be redacted on the website, but 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.

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.