Each valid planning application we receive is subject to a fixed 21 day consultation period so that the views of local people, businesses and other interested bodies can be sought on the proposal.
Letters to neighbours and site notices all include the date by which comments should be received. This is usually 21 days after the letter was sent or the site notice displayed. The council cannot make a decision on an application until the last date publicised for receipt of comments has passed.
How can comments be made?
Comments may be submitted by email, post or online via the Council's website using the online planning searches facility. For comments to be taken into account they must be made in writing and include the name and address of the person making the comments. We are unable to take into account comments made over the telephone.
The best way to comment on a current application is by using this website. Simply use our online planning searches facility to find the application you are interested in and, if the 21 day consultation period is still open, there will be a button at the top of the screen marked 'submit a comment on this application'. Your comments can then be typed in and sent directly into our system.
You can email your views to us at email@example.com. Please quote the application number (eg P1234.12) in the subject field and make it as clear to us as possible whether you are objecting, supporting or commenting on an application. You will be sent an acknowledgement of your email within a few minutes.
Write to us
You can also write to us at the address shown. You should post your comments to us as soon as possible. As with emailed comments (above) please always clearly quote the unique reference number (eg P1234.12) and make it clear to us whether you are objecting, supporting or commenting on an application.
Please note that under the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, your comments, including your name and address are open to inspection by the public, and in the event of an appeal, may be referred to the Secretary of State. In the future comments received may be published on the Council's website. For this reason we recommend that you put any personal details such as your telephone number and email address on a separate piece of paper.
In relation to planning applications we have a statutory duty to notify adjoining properties or display a site notice.
However, anyone is entitled to submit comments on a current planning application regardless of whether or not they were personally consulted.
We send neighbour notification letters to adjoining neighbours, and within the letter it advises the date by which any comments need to be received by us and the methods by which comments can be made.
All letters are addressed to ‘the owner/occupier’ as we do not hold details of ownership.
Please be aware if you have signed up to an unsolicited mail opt out scheme, that some of these schemes may not deliver letters addressed in this way.
Required by law to be displayed in certain circumstances, for example applications in a conservation area, works to a listed building, major applications, and departures from the development plan. In such circumstances a newspaper advertisement also appears in the Romford Recorder.
The council will also usually display a site notice when:
- It is not possible to send neighbour notifications to all adjoining neighbours, eg where a site is next to open land
- The proposal is for the erection of 10 or more new dwellings
- The proposal involves the creation of 1000sqm or more of new floor space
- The application involves the erection of a telecommunications mast and/or equipment
- The site is located within the green belt
- An adjoining neighbour or landowner cannot be easily identified
Sometimes a planning application is amended by the applicant after neighbours and other consultees have commented on the original plans. If the changes are significant, and if there is time, we will usually send out further letters to residents and consultees, inviting further comments.
When this happens the period allowed for comments to be received is often shorter than for the first consultation. If the changes are not significant, or in the Council's opinion overcome the concerns raised by neighbours, further consultation will not generally be necessary.