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View and comment on planning applications

Use Public Access to view and comment on planning applications. Anyone can make a comment on a planning application. You do not need to register to look at or comment on an application. If you do register then you will also be able to:

  • track applications
  • save your searches
  • get email notifications about tracked applications and new search results
Search for a planning application

Your comments, name and address will be published on our website but your signature, email address and telephone number will be removed. Once the application has been determined public access to the correspondence will be restricted in order to protect your privacy/data but it will be retained on the file and is still available to view by planning officers. The privacy notice has more information on how we use your personal data.

Representations received can be found in either the comments tab or the documents tab.

Publicity, advertisement and consultation for planning applications

In respect of notifying neighbours about a planning application there are a number of statutory and non-statutory ways that Forest of Dean District Council carries out this important process.

Statutory duties

Site notices

A green site notice will be posted by the district council to publicise all proposed developments including applications which:

  • affect a Listed Building or its setting or the character or appearance of a Conservation Area
  • are accompanied by an environmental impact assessment
  • are a departure from the development plan
  • affect a public right of way

for which it is a statutory requirement that notices are posted

Newspaper advertisements

In addition to site notices, a statutory advertisement will be inserted by the district council in a local newspaper for the proposed developments listed above.

Non-statutory additional methods


The planning page of the Forest of District Council website allows individuals to sign up and be alerted to planning applications within a chosen area. Individuals are able to track applications through their journey online and be alerted to any changes that are made to it. This is the best way for residents to be notified of and stay in touch with planning applications.

Neighbour notification

The case officer may also decide to notify other properties at the time of their site visit with a flyer posted through the door. Such publicity will be undertaken where the case officer considers the adjoining property might be materially affected in planning terms, whose property is located some distance away from where the site notice was posted and they have not yet commented. The discretionary inclusion of a property in any neighbour notification undertaken by this method will be assessed on a case by case basis and depend to some extent on the nature, use and layout, as well as the nature and character of the proposed development itself.


Does the council still send letters to neighbouring properties?

The council is required to advertise planning applications by either posting a site notice OR notifying any adjoining owner or occupier by letter. The council has chosen to notify neighbouring properties using site notices with the flyer process as a supplement to try to ensure that all relevant parties have the opportunity to comment.

How will the case officer decide who is given a flyer

Ultimately, the decision on which properties ‘may be affected by the proposed development’ is made by the Planning Officer based on his/her professional assessment of the proposal and its likely impacts on neighbouring properties and the area surrounding the site.

Why has the council stopped sending letters?

The council’s previous neighbour notification arrangements were costly and did not have regard to changes in technology. The revised approach takes advantage of technology to make information on planning applications more widely available and also deliver significant savings to the council whilst ensuring that those without access to technology can also comment.

Where are site notices placed

Site notices will ideally be posted on the application site itself in a position where they can be read from a public vantage point. Where this is not possible they will be attached to the closest piece of street furniture.

How many site notices will be posted?

For most applications only one site notice will be posted. For larger sites more than one site notice may be posted, as will also occur when the frontage of the application site is not likely to attract attention from those most affected.

How long will the notice be displayed for?

The site notice should be displayed for at least 21 days.

What if the site notice gets removed?

If the council is made aware that a site notice has been removed within the 21 days it will then be replaced by a new site notice. The new site notice will include the same date as the original and the time frame for any responses will remain as originally posted.

Site notices that are removed, defaced or obscured without any fault or intention of the council will only be replaced once.

What if I haven't been notified?

If we haven't notified you of an application this doesn't mean that you can't make your views known. If you want to comment, regardless of whether or not we informed you about the application, please do so.

What happens if I receive the flyer later in the process and it only gives me limited time to respond?

If you feel that you require more time to comment on an application please contact the case officer directly to arrange an extension of time to submit comments.

What happens if the application is changed (amended) before it is decided by the council?

The council may negotiate changes (known as amendments) to schemes following an initial assessment of a proposal and/or following an assessment of comments or objections made. There is no statutory obligation to consult on amendments but where changes are significant it is the council's general policy to re-publicise the application by way of posting a pink site notice, re advertising on the website and re notifying relevant statutory consultees. A period of 21 days is usually allowed for comment to be made. Neighbours who have not commented to the council will not be re-notified of changes by way of a flyer unless the amendments are likely to have an impact on their property which is considered to be worse than the original plans. Where representations have been made to the application the council will seek to electronically notify parties of the amended scheme and as such all persons are strongly encouraged to provide an electronic address where ever possible.

Will the application be invalid if I do not receive a letter?

No. The law requires that either letters or site notices are used. As we are using site notices for all applications the posting of additional flyers is an additional safeguard but is not legally required and as such even if you think you should have had a letter but did not this will not prevent the determination of the application.

Commenting on applications

You can comment on planning applications and submit your comments online through Public Access.

When making comments you must provide your name and address, if you do not your comments will be considered anonymous and your views cannot be taken into account.

Comments should not contain remarks which might be regarded as offensive, personal or libellous. We do reserve the right to withhold from publication any comments not considered suitable for public view.

Your comments are public and members of the public will be able to inspect and copy your comments by visiting our offices or viewing them on our website.

The application is decided by planning officers or the Development Management Committee. They judge it against published planning policies and take into account all comments received.

What you can comment on and what we cannot consider

You can support or object to a proposal, but planning applications can only be decided on the basis of planning issues, such as:

  • the effect on neighbours' daylight, sunlight or privacy
  • the impact of traffic, road access, highway safety, parking
  • the appearance, bulk or height of the scheme
  • the impact on amenity, such as noise generated by the proposal
  • the potential loss of a valued local service or use, such as a shop
  • the effect on wildlife, listed buildings, trees etc

We cannot consider issues such as:

  • the effect on property values
  • private issues between neighbours such as land covenants, land and boundary disputes
  • competition between rival businesses
  • party wall disputes and fire escape matters
  • loss of a private view


If many people share your view, you may wish to organise a petition. A petition should state the names, addresses and the objections or supporting comments of those signing it.