Objecting to planning application - any chance of anonymity?(10 Posts)
I have a question about objecting to a planning application. We are on friendly terms with our neighbours, but they have applied for planning which will affect us and we would like to object. From what I understand through frantic Googling they will be able to read our objection and presumably see our name/address attached to it? And in fact anyone will be able to see this on the planning portal? We do not want to damage our relationship with them and feel terribly awkward about this! I'm hoping perhaps that if we object they will just see the reasons but not the person who made them? Is that wishful thinking?
I believe our objections would fit the criteria and quite possibly the planning officer would reject their application anyway, but this has put us in quite a dilemma!
Thanks for your advice x
Why don't you go round and talk to them about it, explaining your concerns?
I think SoupDragon is right - if you are friendly with them it should be possible to talk to them. It depends what your concerns are - it may be that they haven't thought through the impact on you. Would their development actually reduce the value of your property by having a significant change on the view or light? If so then you could resolve it by them compensating you for the lost value. Try to think of an alternative plan that would have less impact on you and ask them whether they could consider that instead. However, do please also respect their right to enjoy their own property and if the development is something they need (e.g. due to growing family) then try to be flexible and kind where possible. Communicating with them only through the formal process of the planning system is a sure way to destroy the friendship though. Remember that if this develops into a full-scale dispute you'll have to declare the fact when you sell, which could put buyers off (obviously not something to worry about if you don't see yourself moving ever)
You cannot object annoymously really, although you could contact the planning officer and express your concerns orally and see whether they agree with you. In the absence of a formal objection it is unlikely a planning officer would reveal you had been in contact about concerns, they may agree with you and your concerns would find their way into a refusal.
However they may refuse to even consider your points in the absence of an objection.
I agree you should try and talk to your neighbours about your concerns and see if they are willing to amend their plans in a way that is acceptable to you both, otherwise you should object if you are not willing to allow the development as proposed. You can always say that you are sorry you have to object but you feel the need to safeguard the enjoyment and value of your own property and hope it does not damage relations.
<ahem> whilst you might be annoyed, I meant anonymously
If you object anyone will see your objections (well if your council is like ours) and if you even discuss any concerns with planning officer they might inform the applicant (our planning officer told us of a conversation they had with neighbour - not sure our neighbour knows this however .
Depends on your concern - if for example the plans contravene planning ie 45 degree etc then planning officer might still object even if you don't . Also consider what you are objecting about - if it is not likely to be upheld do you want to have affected your relationship with neighbours for no reason. That said hopefully most neighbours would want to come to an amicable agreement - for example we didn't chose the maximum extension possible as we felt it would be intrusive for one set of neighbours even though it would have been agreed under "permitted developments" and most times a mutually acceptable plan can be developed
Thanks everyone for all your advice. I think we'll call the planning officer to discuss it first and see what they say.
We think approaching our neighbour feels wrong because if they are actually allowed this proposal then who are we to dissuade them? We also feel that puts them in an awkward position - they either tell us to sod off, or amend their, possibly, perfectly acceptable plans and resent us for it. We'd rather it was decided by a planning officer according to the rules as that seems fairer? If the planning officer wants us to make a formal objection then I guess we will talk to our neighbours before we resort to that.
This is exactly why we no longer speak to our neighbours. We objected to plans for a monstrous extension, and achieved very little but bad feeling. It would have helped if our neighbours had discussed things with us first, and also if they hadn't insisted on building the biggest extension of a semi on the planet. They refused to consider any of our suggestions and assumed we would be happy to allow them to dig up our garden to put foundations underneath.
Think long and hard about the main reasons you have for objecting, and focus on getting those proposals altered by your neighbours.
jeanvaljean The reason I think you should talk to your neighbours is to say "we have these concerns about your planning application.." They may not realise how it will affect you and you may be able to come up with a compromise through discussion.
I think all this openness is flawed and thats the reason many people dont object to planning applications (or in my experience this was definitely th reason)
Its all very well saying just go around and have a friendly chat - but shouldnt the originators of the application have done that first ?
We had a neighbour who wanted to convert his red brick bungalow into a 3 storey spanish hacienda style house on the same footprint. Now this was a very naice area, where 90 % of the houses were built out of local stone with slate roves, very match-matchy-twee to some but gave the hamlet a very definitive look with quite high house prices (500 K plus)
Anyway, I digress...the first we heard of this was when an application arrived in the post. Not a single other soul locally wanted to object despite me chatting to them and finding out that they felt the same as me, because the applicant was know locally as a thug
with a criminal record to prove it.
I had an informal chat with the planning advisor who told me she had told the neighbour that she thought the plans were too big and a dormer bungalow would be more fitting but this would be reviewed at the meeting to discuss which would happen at the next stage (asuming more than 3 objections would be received )
Anyway only one objection was received (mine) and so the plans were accepted without having to have further agreements
I think if the objections were anonoymous people would make the effort to put their objections across. If the objections are not valid they will be overruled by planning - a far more fair process no ?
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