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Material and non-material considerations

All comments we receive about a planning application will be considered, but only comments which raise material planning considerations can be taken into account when an application is decided.

Therefore objections may not always result in planning permission being refused, because there are other factors such as the planning policies of the council and central government which may outweigh the objections.

The strength or volume of local opposition (such as petitions or multiple copies of the same objection letter) is not in itself a material planning consideration, but if the content of such objections is focused on the material planning issues then they can be taken into account.

All comments will usually be available to view via Planning Explorer within 48 hours of being received by us.

We also take Material and Non-material considerations into account when deciding on planning enforcement matters.


Material planning considerations

Material planning considerations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Loss of daylight/sunlight or overshadowing
  • Scale and dominance
  • Layout and density of buildings
  • Appearance and design of development and materials proposed
  • Disabled persons' access
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic and parking issues
  • Drainage and flood risk
  • Noise, dust, fumes etc
  • Impact on character or appearance of area
  • Effect on listed buildings and conservation areas
  • Effect on trees and wildlife/nature conservation
  • Impact on the community and other services
  • Economic impact and sustainability
  • Government policy
  • Proposals in the Local Development Plan
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)


Issues which cannot be taken into account

  • Who the applicant is/the applicant's background
  • Loss of views
  • Loss of property value
  • Loss of trade or increased competition
  • Strength or volume of local opposition
  • Construction noise/disturbance during development
  • Fears of damage to property
  • Maintenance of property
  • Boundary disputes, covenants or other property rights
  • Rights of way
  • Personal circumstances are generally not a material planning consideration
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