Planning applications

Guide to commenting on planning applications

Public involvement in planning helps to make the right decisions. Planning will help to shape the future of Rotherham. Therefore we want you to tell us your views, whether for or against, an application.

The Council publicises planning application as required by law, this could be through letters to individual properties, site notices or notices in local press. By having an inclusive process, the Council will be consistent in taking account of considerations affecting those living or visiting the Rotherham Borough.

You can find more information relating to the planning at A guide to the Planning System

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 your contact details.  Planning applications are published online and comments can be submitted online or by emailing

Search for planning applications

View and comment on a planning application

You should keep your comments kept brief and concise, supporting documents such as photographs may help to show the issues being raised.

We can only take account of planning related matters and you should try to keep to these matters.  There may be some other issues which are non planning related matters but these are often controlled via other avenues such as legal requirements.

You must ensure that your comments are not offensive, harmful or of a personal nature. The Council will not accept any responsibility for the contents of any response received. It reserves the right to decline any comments containing defamatory, abusive, or malicious allegations and to not display certain documentation for confidentiality or other reasons.

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". Material considerations and the planning matters than can be considered when we determine a planning application.

The most common material considerations include (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Local and National Planning Policies
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Design, visual appearance, and materials
  • Layout and density of buildings
  • Overshadowing or overbearing impact (but not loss of view)
  • Overlooking or loss of privacy
  • Noise and disturbance from use
  • Smells
  • Light pollution
  • Highway safety issues
  • Traffic generation
  • Vehicular access
  • Level of car parking
  • Impact on trees
  • Landscaping
  • Nature conservation and biodiversity / ecology
  • Intrusion into the open countryside / Green Belt
  • Flooding
  • Effect of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
  • Archaeology
  • Hazardous materials and ground contamination

We cannot take into account

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

  • Loss of view
  • Impact on property value
  • Breach of restrictive covenant (these are legal matters)
  • Loss of trade to a competitor
  • The level of profit a developer might make
  • Moral objections e.g. betting offices or location of care facilities
  • 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, location of scaffolding etc.
  • Problems arising from the construction period- we can impose conditions to lessen the impact on large scale developments but it is likely that construction will have some temporary impact in most cases
  • If the development is already completed

How a planning application is decided

In addition to consulting with local people and town/district/parish Councils there is a requirement to consult with other departments internally and externally.  These consultations will depend on what development is being proposed but could include Transportation Service, Environmental Health, the Environment Agency etc.

The Local Planning Authority are duty bound to determine all planning applications in accordance with the Development Plan which includes the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plans, any Supplementary Planning Documents, National Planning Policy (NPPF) and any other materials considerations.

The Local Plan documents in Rotherham include:

Considering your views 

The Council will take account of all representations made on planning applications.  

The Council is responsible for making the final decision on the application and for deciding how much "weight" representations and material considerations 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 name and address, personal details are removed from comments.

All representations are published on the Rotherham Council website.

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

The final decision on a planning application

The majority of planning applications are delegated to and determined by the Head of Planning and Building Control.

The Scheme of Delegation sets how planning applications are determined dependant on the level of objections / support.

Where there are more than 5 individual objections to most planning applications (this does not include application for Prior Notification such as Telecommunications) they will be presented to the Planning Board and there will be an opportunity to have a right to speak at the 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.

Further information can be found on the Committee Page of the Councils website:

Committee details - Planning Board - Rotherham Council

Where fewer than 5 objections are received (to most planning applications) the decision will be taken in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Board.

Applications may also determined by a Planning Board when a  Councillor requests it or if a development is of a certain nature/size.

The Planning Board meet three weekly 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 your local Councillor 

A Borough Councillor can request that an application be reported to Planning Committee if they have a justified planning policy related reason. The decision on whether an application is determined by Planning Board will be taken by the Chair of the Board.

Appealing a planning decision 

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 planning permission is refused 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.

More help

Planning Aid England provide free, independent and professional advice on planning issues to individuals and community groups.

They will provide you with the tools and knowledge to get involved in local planning issues.

Visit Planning Aid England for more information