Factors: Third party correspondence
Members of the public may write to the Department to comment on planning proposals.
The Department will acknowledge any written representations received within five working days.
If the representation raises any additional points which need to be addresses, the Department will respond as soon as possible, normally within 15 working days.
If a representation has been made to the Department, the individual will be informed of the final decision in due course.
What do we do with your comments?
If you make comments about a planning application, these will be available for other members of the public to see on file. In giving your views you should concentrate on relevant planning matters. It is important to remember that, when we take a decision on an application, we can only consider those comments that are planning matters.
The main issue for the Department is whether the proposed development of the site is acceptable in planning terms and is in the public interest. We also have to consider relevant planning policy and the effect which the proposal might have on others, and on other interests, such as the amenity of residents, the countryside, road safety, buildings or places of historic or architectural importance, and a wide variety of other matters relating to the environment.
To provide some guidance, on what a “relevant planning consideration” is, the following are not matters which planning can take into account:
- issues covered by other regulations, for example licensing and building control;
- private property rights, for example, disputes about boundaries or access;
- the reasons why a developer is making the application or their activities elsewhere;
- moral issues related to the proposal.
The Department cannot negotiate on behalf of third parties with the applicant or agent. However, when an application is under consideration, changes may be made to the proposed development to make it acceptable in planning terms.
What if the application is amended?
Sometimes a planning application may be amended while it is under consideration. When that happens, the Department will tell neighbours or advertise a change if we think it is necessary. There will then be an opportunity for third parties to comment on the amended proposal.