Commenting on a Planning Application

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We are told an application for up to 25 houses across both sites is to be made.

“ ….. a planning application which the College hopes to submit in the coming months…”                               Eton College  25 September 2020       


This guide is intended to:-

  1. Familiarise you with the procedure for submitting comments or objections to the Local Planning Authority by outlining the steps required to present your view effectively in the 21 days allowed for comment
  2. Provide initial help in identifying any aspects of a Planning Application that might be commented on in your submission

Specific details of these aspects will be sent out when, and if, a Planning Application is submitted to help you compose your submission. It is important that your submission is personal, that is to say in your own words, not simply reiterating verbatim the comments provided by others, including


  1. Applications are posted by the IOW Council and can be viewed online using the link labelled ‘Search Planning Applications’ made since February 2004 . Otherwise they are listed in the IOW County Press on the Friday following the Monday posting
  2. To access the details from the link , see ‘Application Search , View and Comment’ and use ‘Simple Search’ . Fill in the application number or the Address, or Keyword to access details
  3. The details will show you the layout of the Development , all the other documents related to it and, comments  already submitted by the General Public and specialist organisations .The opportunity to submit comments online individually is available on the page
  4. If you are submitting comments by post send them to

Planning Services
Seaclose Offices
Fairlee Road
Isle of Wight
PO30 2QS

5. You may not live near the site but you can still comment on the development if you feel it may affect you

Remember please submit comments on an individual basis and don’t send multiple copies of the same letter of objection


  1. Check out Making Effective Comments at
  2. Note that photographs can also be sent , which is valuable when looking at Landscape issues ,or traffic density
  3. Any comments you make must relate to Material Considerations and encompass valid reasons for comment, as set out below. These are matters which relate to the application itself and the use of the Land. For Example in discussing the effects on an area   you might include the Character of the area , density , design and size of buildings  and landscaping
  4. Points are given greater weight if related to policy Documents (Search For Example it would be appropriate to look at following Island Policies regarding SP2 Housing, SP5 Environment , DM2 Design Quality for New Development DM12 Landscape and Geodiversity Seascape and Biodiversity , DM13 Green Infrastructure
  5. Other documents might be The Seaview and Nettlestone Parish plan   , or the recent Draft Housing Strategy 2020-2025 with comments from the Public including the Island’s MP

Valid reasons for comment

Comments that are clear, concise and accurate stand more chance of being accepted than those that are not. When planning applications are considered, the following matters can all be relevant. These are sometimes referred to as ‘material planning considerations’:

  1. Central government policy and guidance – Acts, Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) etc.
  2. The Development Plan – and any review of the Development Plan which is underway.
  3. Adopted supplementary guidance – for example. village design statements, conservation area appraisals, car parking standards.
  4. Replies from statutory and non-statutory agencies (e.g. Environment Agency, Highways Authority).
  5. Representations from others – neighbours, amenity groups and other interested parties so long as they relate to land use matters.
  6. Effects on an area – this includes the character of an area, availability of infrastructure, density, over-development, layout, position, design and external appearance of buildings and landscaping
  7. The need to safeguard valuable resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves.
  8. Highway safety issues – such as traffic generation, road capacity, means of access, visibility, car parking and effects on pedestrians and cyclists.
  9. Public services – such as drainage and water supply
  10. Public proposals for using the same land
  11. Effects on individual buildings – such as overlooking, loss of light, overshadowing, visual intrusion, noise, disturbance and smell.
  12. Effects on a specially designated area or building – such as green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings, ancient monuments and areas of special scientific interest.
  13. Effects on existing tree cover and hedgerows.
  14. Nature conservation interests – such as protection of badgers, great crested newts etc.
  15. Public rights of way
  16. Flooding or pollution.
  17. Planning history of the site – including existing permissions and appeal decisions.
  18. A desire to retain or promote certain uses – such as playing fields, village shops and pubs.
  19. Need for the development – such as a petrol station
  20. Prevention of crime and disorder
  21. Presence of a hazardous substance directly associated with a development
  22. Human Rights Act
  23. Precedent – but only where it can be shown there would be a real danger that a proposal would inevitably lead to other inappropriate development (for example, isolated housing in the countryside)

Irrelevant reasons for objection

There are certain matters which do not amount to ‘material planning considerations’ under current legislation and guidance. These matters cannot be taken into account in considering a planning application and should not be included in objections as they weaken your case:

  1. The identity of the applicant or occupant
  2. Unfair competition
  3. Boundary disputes
  4. Breach of covenants and personal property rights, including rights of way
  5. Loss of a private view
  6. Devaluation of property
  7. Other financial matters
  8. Matters controlled by other legislation – such as internal space standards for dwellings or fire prevention
  9. Religious or moral issues – such as betting shops and amusement arcades
  10. The fact that the applicant does not own the land to which the application relates
  11. The fact that an objector is a tenant of land where the development is proposed
  12. The fact that the development has already been carried out and the applicant is seeking to regularise the situation. People can carry out development at their own risk before getting planning permission)
  13. The developer’s motives, record or reputation