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How to comment on planning applications

South Ribble Borough Council is committed to informing neighbours and other parties who are directly affected by planning applications.

We care about your views and want to hear them so they can be taken into account when considering planning applications.

For more information on how you can have your say, simply download our  neighbour's guide to planning applications (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window) .


Where to find out about a planning application

The planning application details are available using our public access system. 

How to get help in understanding a planning application

Don't worry if you think you may have difficulty understanding plans. You can make an appointment to see the planning officer dealing with the application whose name appears on the notification letter. They

can help explain the plans and can also provide general guidance on planning issues.

How to put forward your views

To make sure your views are not misinterpreted we cannot accept your comments over the phone. Your comments must be received either via our Public Assess Planning Portal or via email to or in writing. Before commenting you are strongly advised to view the application form and plans online.

If you are having trouble downloading or viewing the guide, please email us to request the information in a different format.

What sort of things can be taken into account?

The council has a legal duty to take into account certain matters which the law deems 'material considerations'. Some of these considerations include:

  • Design, visual appearance and materials involved

  • Loss of privacy or disturbance from use

  • Smells, light pollution and traffic generation

  • Intrusion into the countryside or Green Belt or a threat to conservation areas and listed buildings

  • Local and national planning policies

What cannot be taken into account?

Many concerns cannot be addressed through the planning process. Some of these include:

  • Loss of view or property value

  • Moral objections e.g. to uses such as amusement arcades and betting offices

  • Private issues between neighbours e.g. land/ boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.

  • Matters controlled under Building Regulations or other non-planning laws, e.g. structural stability, drainage, fire precautions etc

How does the council decide a planning application?

After the 21 day consultation period the Case Officer should have all the information needed to assess the application. Every planning application is determined having considered national policy, the relevant Local Plan, supplementary planning documents, and any other material considerations.

Will my views be considered?

The council is legally obliged to take into account the views of neighbours and other interested parties and encourages local residents to have their say in planning matters. The council is responsible for making the final decision.

What will happen after my objections have been made?

Due to the large number of responses the council receives, it is not possible to respond personally to each letter.

Representations are publicly available and other members of the public may see your views. Personal details, including name and address, are removed from comments.

Will the application be refused if lots of objections are received?

An application can only be refused for planning reasons and not because of the number of objections.

Who makes the final decision on the application?

Most planning applications are determined by senior council officers under the Scheme of Delegation. The remainder are decided by the Planning Committee, which meets approximately once a month.

How can my local councillor help?

A borough councillor can request that an application be presented to the Planning Committee if they have a justified planning related reason. This means it will be debated in public at a Planning Committee meeting.

At the meeting, members of the public are given the opportunity to voice their opinions on the applications, once this process is complete, the committee will discuss the application and then take a vote.

Can I appeal if I don't agree with the Council's decision?

As the law stands there is no right of appeal for objectors. Even if the council refuses planning permission the process does not necessarily stop. An applicant has a right to appeal against the refusal of planning permission.

Planning Quality Framework

As part of our continuing service to customers, we may send you a short survey for you to tell us what you think of our service. We will only send you this if you have given us your email address. If you wish to unsubscribe from this survey, you have the option of doing so when you receive a survey from us.

An example of an objection is as follows:

I write to object to the above planning application for the following reasons:

Design: the proposed dwellings are not of a design which is in keeping with the scale, character, or appearance of the area.

Privacy: One of the proposed dwellings would have a bedroom window approximately 10 metres from my only living room window. This would lead to a significant reduction in privacy at my property.

An example of support is as follows:

I write to give full support to the above planning application. The proposal would bring a derelict site back into positive use which would benefit the area. The removal of the existing buildings would improve the visual appearance of the area as the buildings are in significant disrepair.

In addition, the proposed dwellings would overlook an area of public open space which. I believe would increase natural surveillance of the area and would deter anti-social behaviour.

Planning Applications online

Planning applications received and validated by us are available to view online 

You can enter the address or reference number to find your application. You can then view important dates, such as committee dates, consultation end date and decision date. You can also view plans online. You can send us your comments using this service too. Please note that any comments you make will be available for the public to see. We do remove any signatures, phone numbers or emails addresses from correspondence.





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