If you are viewing plans and documents online and wish to make an observation, support, or object to a planning application we recommend you use the online system to comment. This can be found under "Make a public comment," located on the top of the page when viewing an application.
In order to make a comment online, you will first need to register your details. You will then be sent a verification email with a link to follow that takes you back to Public Access. Please ensure you have read the advice "Commenting on Planning Applications" before commenting.
We welcome your comments and your participation in the planning process and our aim is to provide a fair and inclusive system for both commenter and applicant. Therefore please ensure that your comments are relevant and constructive. The list below gives examples of those issues that can be considered. By opting to participate in the planning process you agree to abide by these requirements. Comments of a personal nature are in any case irrelevant to the determination of a planning application.
Alternatively you can submit your comments in writing by using our contact details at the bottom of this page.
The Council publicises planning applications through:
- The Council website, which contains details of all current applications;
- The Friday edition of the Evening Gazette though, in general, only the larger applications are listed;
- Site Notices that are displayed near to the application site. These are bright orange to ensure that they can be seen.
Letter to neighbours
We normally write directly to the occupiers of the houses that share a common boundary with an application site. The letter is addressed to 'The Occupier' as we do not have any ownership records.
I have not received a letter
It is often thought that if you do not receive a letter you cannot comment. This is completely untrue. You can comment however you find out about an application. You do not need to ask the Council for a letter.
Will I be notified of a Planning Appeal?
If you would like us to send you notice of a Planning Appeal you will need to provide your postal address when submitting a comment.
How long do I have to comment?
The newspaper advert, site notice or letters are all dated and give 21 days. You are strongly urged to comment within 21 days, as it is possible that a decision could be made as soon as the period ends. If you find out about an application after this period has ended, you can check the website or contact the Council to see if you could still comment. We do take all comments into account, even if they are late, as long as we receive them before a decision is made.
The comments must relate to planning and can include:-
- Planning Policy;
- Case Law;
- Previous decisions on the same site or in comparable circumstances;
- Design, size appearance and layout;
- Effects on amenity, loss of light, overshadowing, loss of privacy, noise or smell nuisance;
- Impact on trees, landscape, nature conservation, listed buildings or conservation areas;
- Highways safety, traffic and parking.
These are just a few examples and this list is not exhaustive.
Issues that cannot normally be considered include:-
- Effects on property values;
- Loss of a view;
- Competition with an existing business;
- Land ownership or boundary disputes;
- Restrictive covenants, private rights or easements;
- Personal circumstances of the applicant;
- Preference for an alternative development
What happens to my comments?
They are put on the application file and taken into account when an application is ready for a decision. Most decisions will be made by the Head of Planning under delegated powers. A small number of applications will be decided by the Council's Planning Committee. You have a right to attend committee meetings and you may be able to speak to the committee. There is a separate guidance note about speaking at committee meetings. Your comments will be summarised in any committee report.
What happens if an application is amended?
Generally we will not write to you again if the changes are felt to improve the situation. If however, the changes are major or significantly worsen the situation we would normally write to anyone who has commented.
How long will it be until a decision is made?
It is possible that a decision will be made as soon as the 21 days period for comment expires. However, some applications, for example due to complex negotiations or the need for legal agreements, may take longer before there is a decision. The decision once made will be available on the Council's website.
Will I be told about the decision?
We put the decisions on the Council's website. However, we know that not everybody has access to the website. If you would like a copy of the decision you can buy one at the Clacton-on-sea Offices in person. Alternatively you can check the current price of copies of documents, send us the fee and quote the application number and we will be pleased to send you a copy of the decision.
Equality and Diversity
If you need any special assistance please let us know so that we can help you.
Address - Planning Services, Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1SE