At a glance:
The Council is keen to give people who may be affected by a development the opportunity to express their views. The manner in which the Council publicises applications is in line with statutory legislation, and varies on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Councils adopted Statement of Community Involvement.
Comments (also known as representations) for current applications can be submitted online by following the link on the application page you wish to comment on. This is the quickest and easiest way to provide comments to the Council.
Alternatively, comments can be submitted by email or by letter - if commenting by either email or letter, please quote the planning application reference number (eg S18/XXXX) in all correspondence.
All representations received in respect of a planning application will be processed in accordance with the various Town & Country Planning Acts .
 In particular the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 including any amendments, consequential, subsequent or supplemental legislation such as the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.
Planning applications are subject to defined consultation periods, within which the majority of comments are expected to be received.
It is important to get your comments in on time, and prompt submission of comments is encouraged. Comments submitted during the consultation period will be fully considered. If you submit beyond this period there is a risk a decision may have been taken before your comments are received .
 The Council will endeavour to consider comments submitted after the end of the consultation period, up until the day the recommendation is completed However the Council cannot be held responsible if your comments are received after the consultation period has closed and a decision has already been taken.
It is essential that any comments received include a name, an address, and contact details. In exceptional circumstances, we will consider requests to obscure names to protect identities, please contact the Case Officer for the application to discuss.
Comments cannot be treated as confidential, and all representations form part of the public file which is available for inspection at our office by request. They may be made available in the form submitted to us, including any personal data. We may provide copies of them to other parties directly related to the application such as applicants or agents, and consultees such as the Highway Authority. You should also note that in certain circumstances we may be required to provide copies of your comments (including any personal data included) to other bodies, such as the Planning Inspectorate.
You are responsible for your comments. The Council accepts no responsibility for the content of comments. The Council reserves the right to decline to accept, amend or redact comments which are considered to be unacceptable or inappropriate.
The Local Planning Authority is unable to consider matters which are not material planning considerations and are unable to attribute weight to such matters within the planning judgment. Where a comment raises non-material matters, they may not be highlighted or evaluated within recommendations.
Examples of material planning considerations include, but are not restricted to, the following:
Examples of matters which are not material planning considerations include, but are not restricted to, are:
The planning system entitles anyone to apply for permission to develop any plot of land, irrespective of ownership. This does not however affect any civil rights which can preclude development from being implemented if the consent of the owner is not obtained.
An applicant is required to notify owners of the land or buildings to which the application relates, as well as any agricultural tenants . An 'owner' for planning purposes is anyone with a freehold interest, or leasehold interest the unexpired term of which is not less than 7 years. When making an application, an applicant is required to sign a certificate confirming the ownership of the land to which the application relates and that the relevant notices have been served.
Further details on certification can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-an-application#ownership-certificate
If you believe someone has served an incorrect certificate, this can be a material matter which requires attention during the determination process. In such cases, in order for us to challenge this with the applicant/agent, we request that you provide proof of ownership (such as a copy of a Land Registry title) or alternative evidence to show that the certificate is incorrect. In the majority of cases where such proof is not available, and there is no clear error, we will often side with the applicant as it is an offence to complete a false or misleading certificate, either knowingly or recklessly, with a maximum fine of up to £5,000.
Officers undertake site visits as part of the determination of applications; this is an important part of the process as it enables us to evaluate the effects of the proposal. The Town & Country Planning Act gives us the ability to access the application site for this purpose, and we will also undertake further assessments within the local area. The extent of a site visit varies on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature and likely effects of the proposal and the Officer will use their professional judgment to determine the extent of the site visit and what areas the proposal needs to be assessed from.
In carrying out an assessment of the application, we may need to obtain access from your property. We will always check first whether you are at home. If you are not then we may need to enter the public part of your garden or look over a fence to assess the impact of the proposals on your property. In exceptional circumstances, we may need to make an appointment to visit on another occasion.
In most cases, we will not agree to specific requests for site visits or meetings with third parties due to the resource implications, as well as other issues (such as access to land, health and safety etc). We may however on occasion contact individuals to gain access to land/buildings to assess the impact of development; this is done on a case-by-case basis depending on the issue at hand and is at the Officers discretion.
If you think a lot of people agree with you about a planning application you can organise a petition.
If you decide to organise a petition, please make sure that:
Petitions can support as well as oppose planning proposals, and will be published on our website together with other representations on the application. Please note however, individuals appearing on the petition will not be recorded separately on our records and signatures will be redacted before publication. Personal data contained within petitions will be handled in a similar way to individual comments as set out in this guide.
Due to the large number of representations received by the department it is not possible to acknowledge or respond to individual comments.
Comments will be considered by the Case Officer in reviewing the proposals, and any material considerations raised will be evaluated and attributed appropriate weight within the planning determination. Comments are summarised within reports by the Case Officer, and considered accordingly. Should you wish to see how matters raised were considered in the determination of an application, please review the Officers report (for Delegated Decisions) or Planning Committee report which are made available on the Councils website.
You should be aware that the great majority of planning applications are delegated to officers of the Council to determine. However, in certain circumstances they are referred to the Council's Development Management Committee for determination
In the event of an Appeal, copies of comments received will be provided to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of legislative requirements.
Householder applications cover works such as an extension to an existing house or flat, the provision of a garage, summerhouse or shed in a domestic garden, or the installation of any solar panel, domestic wind turbine or antenna which needs specific planning permission.
In the event of an appeal against a refusal of planning permission (which is to be dealt with on the basis of representations in writing), any representations made regarding householder applications will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate (acting on behalf of the Secretary of State), and there will be no further opportunity for comments (at appeal stage).
Any comments made will be processed in accordance with the Councils obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
What is the basis for processing of information?
In commenting on an application, you are requesting that the Local Planning Authority uses the content (including any personal data) in the performance of a public task associated with the planning application process as set out in established legislation. This forms the lawful basis for the processing of information.
What will your information be used for?
All representations received in respect of a planning application will be used in association with the processing of an application, in accordance with the various Town & Country Planning Acts. In particular the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 including any amendments, consequential, subsequent or supplemental legislation such as the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.
We aim to handle your personal data responsibly, and limit information which is publicly available. We will not publish your personal email address, signatures and any contact numbers but we may hold this information on our planning system. In the event that sensitive information is submitted to us as part of a comment or supporting document, such as medical information, education details, or financial data, we will aim to treat it sensitively but may hold this within our planning system.
Your information could also be used to contact you regarding aspects of the planning process for example:-
Furthermore, there may be times when the Local Planning Authority is required to share your comments (including some personal information) with others in connection with the planning application process.
If you have any concerns with regard to how your data may be shared, please contact the Case Officer for the application in question.
How is the information held?
All representations received are transferred onto the planning file for the application in question. Planning application files form part of the statutory register which the Local Planning Authority is required to keep in accordance with the Town & Country Planning Acts. Comments may also be required to be kept for defined periods in accordance with other legislation such as the Local Government Access to Information Act.
The Council holds applications files in both electronic and hard-copy format whilst being considered.
Current, un-decided applications are available to view by the public at the Councils Offices by request. Within such files, it is possible to view all comments received on an application. Periodically, post-decision, working files are converted to electronic versions, and subsequently are only held in this format.
Retention of information and right to erasure
The Council holds its register of applications electronically. The Councils website hosts details of all applications since 2015, with other applications being held on other systems maintained by the Council, such applications are available to view by appointment at the Councils offices.
We do not publish comments online, but comments will be held electronically as part of the Councils planning register for as long as they are required to be retained, in accordance with the requirements of statutory legislation and the Councils adopted document retention schedule.
As a result of the requirement to retain information as part of the Councils statutory register of applications, it is not always possible for us to remove personal data which forms part of that register. However, we will consider this on a case by case basis, with due regard to the nature of the data and the application in question. Should you wish us to remove your data, please contact us at Planning@southkesteven.gov.uk and we will review your request and respond accordingly. Please provide us with the details of the application you wish us to review.