Tips for commenting to the Council

These are some points you might like to consider when submitting comments to the Council. 

Planning Applications Reference:18/02330/FUL

The proposals are an over-development of a backland site. A set of pre-application proposals were unacceptable to the Council.  The planning application proposals are not substantially different and are equally unacceptable.


This design quality is inadequate.  A contemporary design may be acceptable in a conservation area – if it is high quality.  Intrinsic to good design is the choice of materials. There is no consideration of materials whatsoever. 

The building height and footprint disregards its context.  The pattern of development between the large villas of Upper Oldfield Park and Junction Road is much smaller scale, generally single storey with the use of roof space.  This preserves the sense of space around villas and the distinctiveness of each street. The proposals jar completely with this pattern and harm the character of this part of the conservation area.

The proposals will result in overbearing buildings and an unacceptable level of private amenity space for both existing and future residents.  Contrary to what the applicants say, the proposals do have windows directly facing the block of flats.  The building is too close; less than 20m, generally recognised as a minimum between facing two storey dwellings.  A greater distance is required when, as in this case, one of the properties has more than two storeys.
The proposals will kill the boundary mature pine tree by encroaching on its roots and branches.  There is no tree survey, but the site plan shows the significance and broad extent of this tree.  The building footprint clearly encroaches on it.
The proposals will have an unacceptable impact on road safety.  Additional on street parking will significantly worsen existing road safety issues and are contrary to policy ST7 of the placemaking plan.
There is no effective means to prevent future occupants of the scheme using a car.  Reliance on planning control for ‘car free development’ fails.  Healthcare workers will need to use a car to work shifts out of hours of the operation of public transport and should have 15 off street parking spaces.  The proposals do not include an alternative car parking management strategy and conflict with policy ST7 of the placemaking plan.
The impact of five additional HMOs has an unacceptable impact upon the social balance of the neighbourhood.  Five additional HMOs in an area formally designated as already having a high concentration of HMOs is contrary to supporting the objective of a balanced community.  Additional HMOs are incompatible with the character and amenity of established adjacent uses, will significantly harm the amenity of adjoining residents through a loss of privacy, visual and noise intrusion and will create a severe transport impact.  The scheme is contrary to the objectives of policy H2 of the place making plan.


There is no information on how the management of the scheme will operate so that the accommodation meets the needs purported.  The scheme must be considered as an unimpeded general residential use and therefore provides a wholly unacceptable standard of accommodation, private amenity and accessibility.
The planning application submission is inadequate and should be refused. It is impossible to say these proposals have an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of their surroundings.
If further details are submitted, I would like a further 21 days to comment


The best and easiest way to submit your comments is online, your comments don’t get lost and it saves the Council time and resources too.  You can also submit comments by email to the case officer in writing to:

Martin Almond
Planning Services
Lewis House
Manvers Street

If you do please remember to quote the planning application reference: 18/02330/FUL.

Please copy your comments to Councillors if you wish.

For the Oldfield Ward, this would best be

This helps them gauge local feeling and understand our concerns.  If a decision is not delegated to an officer, Members of the Planning Committee may acknowledge but should not reply to your comments because they must retain impartiality.

By law, all planning applications should be determined in accordance with the policies of the development plan.  You might conclude that the scheme conflicts with one or more policies of the plan and should therefore be refused.  You can quote specific policies and their criteria, but on the whole it is still best to keep points short and to the point.  Particularly useful policies to look at are D6 and D7 of the Council’s Place Making Plan. These relate to many of the objections above.

By law, the Council must pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of a conservation area.

You might also look at the recently issued new National Planning Policy Framework from the Government to which all local Councils must abide; in particular, the sections on design and making the best use of land.