A guide to commenting on planning applications

The planning applications approved by Cheshire East Borough Council help to shape the future of the area. To make sure the public are involved in this future, the Council publicises all planning applications, by site notice or letters to neighbouring properties and we inform the relevant Parish or Town Council.

Tell us your views, whether for or against, an application.

How to give your views

You have 21 days to comment on an application.You must quote the reference number of the application you are commenting on and address your comments to the Head of Planning and Housing.

Keep your comments kept brief and concise. You can use sub-headings to illustrate each point. You can include other information such as photographs to illustrate your concerns.

You should focus on the planning issues as these influence the decision making process. We cannot take other non planning related comments into consideration.

The planning issues that are taken into account

We have a statutory duty to consider the provisions of the Local Plan and any other "material considerations". The most common "material considerations" include (the list is not exhaustive):

  • local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
  • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
  • previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • design, visual appearance, and materials
  • layout and density of buildings
  • loss of daylight or sunlight
  • overshadowing/loss of outlook (but not loss of view)
  • overlooking/loss of privacy
  • noise and disturbance from use
  • smells
  • light pollution
  • highway safety issues
  • traffic generation
  • vehicular access
  • adequacy of parking
  • loss of important trees
  • landscaping
  • nature conservation
  • intrusion into the open countryside/ Green Belt
  • risk of flooding
  • effect of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
  • archaeology
  • hazardous materials and ground contamination
  • disabled persons access

We cannot take into account

Many concerns cannot be addressed through the planning process, these include:

  • loss of view
  • loss of property value
  • breach of restrictive covenant
  • loss of trade to a competitor
  • the level of profit a developer might make
  • personal circumstances of the applicant (in most cases)
  • moral objections e.g. to uses such as amusement arcades and betting offices
  • matters controlled under Building Regulations or other non-planning laws, e.g. structural stability, drainage, fire precautions etc
  • private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc
  • problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles, hours of work etc.
  • the development is already completed

How a planning application is decided

The Case Officer should have all the information they need to assess the application after the 21 day consultation period.

We consider and determine every planning application with regard to national policy, the relevant Local Plan, supplementary planning documents, and any other material considerations. The Local Plan documents that Cheshire East currently use include:

Considering your views 

The Council is legally obliged to take into account the representations received from neighbours and other interested parties when deciding all planning applications. The Council encourages local residents to have their say in planning matters. The Council is responsible for making the final decision on the application and for deciding how much "weight" representations have.

After objections have been made

Due to the large number of responses the Council receives, it is not possible to respond personally to each letter.

We make representations publicly available and other members of the public may see your views. Excluding address, personal details are removed from comments.

All representations are published on the Cheshire East website within 48 hours of receipt.

An application can only be refused for "planning reasons" and not because of the number of objections.

The final decision on a planning application

Approximately 95% of applications are delegated to and determined by the Head of Planning. The remaining applications are dealt with by Planning Committee. 

Applications are determined by a Planning Committee when a Borough Councillor requests it or if a development is of a certain nature/size. The Planning Committees meet monthly to decide applications.

In the rare instance that a large application goes against the policies set out in the Local Plan the matter will be referred to the Government who will decide whether the Council should be allowed to determine the application.

Help from local Councillor 

A Borough Councillor can request that an application be reported to Planning Committee if they have a justified planning policy related reason. This means it will be debated in public at a Planning Committee meeting.

Objectors and supporters are eligible to speak at planning committee. Each group identified shall be entitled to speak for a period of up to three minutes. If there is more than one person wishing to speak from a particular group e.g. objectors, people are encouraged to consult each other and agree how to share their 3 minutes. The time limit will not be extended unless a specific extension of time is agreed by the Chairman.

Appealing a planning decision 

As the law stands there is no right of appeal for objectors.

A Council's decision may be challenged in the courts if the Authority has misinterpreted the law or if there were procedural irregularities with the application.If for example the inquiry, hearing, site visit or other procedures were not carried out properly, leading to unfair treatment.

If the council refuses planning permission the process does not necessarily stop. An applicant has a right to appeal against the refusal of planning permission.

An applicant has the right to appeal if the council fails to determine an application within eight or thirteen weeks.

Find out more

Central Government advice notes and statements:

General planning advice on the Planning Portal:

Current planning policies used by Cheshire East Council

This text is available as a pdf file:

Page last reviewed: 19 December 2023