Very useful information from Planning Aid Wales

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Community Councils consider all planning applications which appear on the WCBC website as being within their boundary (the Community Council is a ‘statutory consultee’) and they will send in comments and/or an objection if they feel there are issues which fall within the range of reasons allowed for comment. No-one can comment on, or object to, a planning application just because they don’t like a plan; there are criteria within which anyone objecting must operate.

All comments we receive about a planning application will be considered, but only comments which raise material planning considerations can be taken into account by us, or by WCBC when an application is decided. Objections may not always result in planning permission being refused, because there are other factors – such as the planning policies of WCBC and government which may outweigh such objections.

The context of comments/objections may also of importance – for example, a resident may argue that their garden will be overlooked by a proposed development. If the garden is small, and the development close by, this may be considered to be significant, but if the garden is very large, and the development far away, its significance may be diminished.

The strength or volume of local opposition (such as petitions, or multiple copies of the same objection letter) is not, in itself, a material planning consideration, but if the content of such objections is focused on material planning issues then they can be taken into account.

You can search planning applications at Planning (wrexham.gov.uk)

Wrexham County Borough Council has helpful Information on the planning part of their website. It explains:

Any issues or concerns you raise must only involve material planning matters, such as:

  • the impact of the development on the character and appearance of an area (for example position, size, grouping, height or design, materials proposed);
  • the impact on residential amenity (for example hours of use, overlooking, over-dominance, noise, traffic);
  • the impact on highway safety (for example poor visibility, pedestrian safety, parking);
  • the effect on listed buildings and conservation areas;
  • the effect on trees and wildlife/nature conservation;
  • the planning policies and proposals written in the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan (‘UDP’) which identifies where development can take place;
  • government planning advice (for example Technical Advice Notes) and previous appeal decisions.

Little or no weight can be given to comments that refer to non-planning matters such as:

  • the personal characteristics of the applicant;
  • disputes over the ownership of the land, private rights of way, private drains and other private easements or legal covenants;
  • the effect of the proposal on property values or competition between rival companies, shops, restaurants etc;
  • structural stability, drainage, fire precautions, hygiene and internal space – these are dealt with under other legislation such as the building regulations.

Comments of a racist nature will not be considered and may be referred to the police for investigation.

The Welsh Government has guidance on different aspects of the planning process which can be found at https://gov.wales/planning-guidance-for-the-public

Planning Aid Wales offers a free Helpline service to assist eligible members of the public and community groups needing help with a planning matter.