Planning Applications are publicised in a number of ways. Notification letters are sent to properties immediately adjacent to an application site that could be affected by the proposal. A site notice (or notices) describing the application and explaining how people can comment will be displayed close to the application site. Certain applications are publicised in the Public Notices of the local press.

You may wish to discuss the proposal with other people you consider are affected.

Please feel free to let them know how to make their views known. You can look at a copy of the application and plans and comment online on the planning portal.

Alternatively applications and plans are available to view at the ground floor reception of the Civic Offices, between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

How to comment

The city council welcomes the views of the public which should be sent to the postal or e-mail address or the fax number. A decision will be made on the application after the date shown in the notification letter/site notice/public notice in the local press.

Your comments can only be taken into account if they are made in writing. Anonymous representations cannot be taken into consideration. Your written comments will be taken into consideration in determining the application. However, due to the volume of comments we receive on planning applications the city council is unable to acknowledge or enter into individual correspondence on specific applications.

Your ward councillors may be able to help you with your comments. However, if they are members of the Planning Services Committee (or standing deputies) they must stay impartial in the consideration of an application.

The Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 allows all comments to be seen by the public, including the applicant(s). Letters of comment will be displayed on the website during the determination of the application. Before we publish planning documentation on our website, we will take all reasonable steps to remove:

  • personal (not business) telephone numbers
  • email addresses and signatures from planning applications
  • representations or other documents received as part of the planning application process.

Relevant issues

There is often some confusion about what the council can take into account when it considers comments on planning proposals. The council cannot reject a proposal simply because a lot of people are against it.

The council can only consider comments which are relevant to land use planning issues such as:

  • Compliance with local plan policies and government guidance.
  • The design of the development and its impact on the appearance of the surrounding area.
  • The effect a development might have on the amenity of neighbours (this includes bulk, overbearing impact, loss of light, loss of privacy, noise or fumes.)
  • Traffic and road safety.

Non planning issues

Sometimes the issues listed in this section come up. However they are not planning issues and the council cannot normally take them into account. These issues include:

  • the effect the development might have on property values
  • the personal circumstances, the motives or the character of the applicant(s)
  • ‘moral’ issues relating to the proposal
  • private legal matters such as restrictive covenants or questions of ownership
  • loss of view.

Speaking at committee

The city council also allows members of the public to speak directly to the Planning Services Committee when they consider an application at a committee meeting. This is known as a deputation.

If you wish to speak to the committee you must contact us by telephone or in writing (letter, fax or e-mail) by the date shown in the notification letter/site notice/public notice in the local press.

The direct telephone line for deputations is listed on this page and an answerphone is available outside office hours. You should also telephone the number if you require more information about the deputation procedure, or need further clarification on any of the information contained in this information sheet.

Planning services contact information

Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth PO1 2AU

Telephone: 023 9268 8832