View or comment on planning applications
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Please take into consideration the following points when you make a comment supporting or objecting to an application.
Your comments will appear online in due course. Your name and address will be published but, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, telephone numbers and email addresses will be removed.
Please ensure that you do not include personal details in your comment text such as email addresses or telephone numbers.
Please make sure that your comments are relevant and not defamatory or offensive, because you remain personally and legally responsible for them.
We reserve the right to remove from this website the entirety of any comment which contains any words which are or may be defamatory or offensive.
Comments must be no more than 2,000 characters. Please note that the system will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity and you will lose your typed text. We suggest using Notepad (or similar) if you will be typing a lengthy response, then paste the text unformatted into the comment box when ready.
To find out how we use your information for Development Management (Planning), please view our privacy notice.
View, comment and track progress of planning applications in your area:
- Find out how to register and use the advanced features in the West Suffolk user guide to public access for planning
- West Suffolk online planning system and historic decision notices disclaimer and copyright
- Historic decision notices for Forest Heath (1974 to 2002).
Please note: If you are coming to the council offices to view an application and it is not available online, we will need 48 hours' notice to collate any files or microfiche.
When applications are received, validated and registered our technical team immediately notify neighbouring properties, the parish/town council and statutory consultees. The regulations require that neighbours, parishes and consultees are given 21 days to respond to applications and this detail is included in the letter requesting comments.
Once the application is validated the case is passed to the case officer who is then required to go out on a site visit within the first two weeks of receipt. At that point the case officer puts up a site notice at the site and the notice allows for 21 days from the date of the notice for comments to be submitted – the purpose of the notice is to capture anyone passing the site who might also have an interest.
In addition to all of this certain types of applications also need to be advertised by way of a public notice in the press. This is another 21 day period but the lead in times for getting notices published in the newspapers means that often, when a press notice is required this tends to be later than the neighbour or parish letters and the site notice dates.
In all instances the planning case officer would work to the latest out of all of these deadlines and this is the advice which we give out consistently to anyone who enquires.
All our consultation requests refer the reader to our public access system and on there, when viewing details of a planning application, there is a tab called Important Dates, this provides all the various deadlines.
Making valid comments
Keep comments focused on the merits or concerns about the development, such as:
- how it will affect the surrounding area
- highway safety
- the design of the proposed development (what this will be like to look at)
- whether the development will affect the enjoyment of your own property in any way (such as the garden).
Some matters will not be considered in planning applications and these are shown below. These apply across the country following a decision in the courts:
- the effect on property value
- loss of a private view
- loss of acquired rights to light
- suspicion about future intentions
- personal circumstances of the applicant.
If you need to speak to someone about a planning application or for general planning enquiries, please contact Customer Services - details are in the menu bar on the right-hand side of this page.
Asking questions at Development Control (planning) Committee meetings
To find out when planning committee meetings take place or to see agenda and meeting minutes please view the calendar:
These are public meetings that anyone can attend. You will need to tell the committee clerk by noon the day before the meeting if you wish to speak.
For more information on having your say on planning applications and details of who to contact if you wish to speak at a Development Control Committee meeting, download our Guide to having a say on planning applications (PDF).