As a resident of Wrexham County Borough you can have your say on planning applications by...
- submitting your comments online (using our search facility)
- contacting our Head of Environment and Planning
- talking to your local councillor
- speaking at our Planning Committee (subject to certain conditions)
How can I view the planning application I want to have my say on?
You can search for planning applications using our online search facility. You can search by the address/area that the application applies to (or by the case number if already known). By selecting the case number you can view a brief summary of the submitted application.
You can select the "documents" button at the top of the case page to view the application form, detailed drawings and any other relevant information.
All planning applications and plans are also available to view at our planning office where we can provide advice in person, or explain what is proposed more clearly.
How to comment on a planning application online
Once you have found the planning application you would like to comment on through our search facility, select the "make comment" button on the case page.
There will be a comment box available for you to add your comments into and you will also be required to provide your name and contact details.
You will be asked if your overall view is to “support” or “reject” the proposal.
Once you submit your comment it will be sent to the case officer. The case officer will take into account your view before a decision is made. You will receive an acknowledgement and will be informed of the decision.
We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will respond to any correspondence in Welsh, which will not lead to a delay.
The types of issues that can be raised
What issues can I raise?
Any issues or concerns you raise must only involve planning matters, such as:
- the impact of the development on the character and appearance of an area (e.g. position, size, grouping, height or design)
- the impact on residential amenity (e.g. hours of use, overlooking, over dominance, noise, traffic)
- the impact on highway safety (e.g. poor visibility, pedestrian safety, parking)
- the planning policies and proposals written in the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan (‘UDP’) which identifies where development can take place
- government planning advice (e.g. Technical Advice Notes) and previous appeal decisions
We (the council) cannot refuse planning permission simply because people object to an application, or approve it because there is a lot of support/no objections. Our decision will be made in line with the Local Development Plan.
What issues cannot be submitted?
Little or no weight can be given to comments that refer to non-planning matters or purely private interests 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.
What will happen after I send my comments?
Consideration by the Planning Case Officer
We will let you know when we receive your comments and pass them to the Planning Officer dealing with the application.
The officer will visit the application site to see what impact the proposal will have on the local area.
The officer may negotiate changes to improve the proposal with the developer. If these are important, we will notify any neighbours again and invite them to view the plans and make further comments. The original comments will still be considered, but in the light of the changes made.
The officer will prepare a report taking into account the views made by consultees (e.g. the Highway Authority or local community council) and comments made by the applicant and neighbours. This report will usually be prepared between four to eight weeks from the date that the application was submitted and the neighbours were first notified.
Consideration by the Head of Environment and Planning
The Head of Environment and Planning will consider the application together with any comments made and the officer’s recommendation. A decision will be made to approve or refuse the application, or a report is submitted for consideration by the Planning Committee.
An application is only normally referred to Committee when someone has contacted us during the three week publicity period with opposing views to the officers’ recommendation. You may contact the planning service towards the end of this three week period to see if the application is going to the Committee for a decision.
Consideration by councillors at Planning Committee
If the application is referred to the Planning Committee for a decision to be made, an agenda will be publicised, and those who have asked to speak will be notified. The Committee will meet to discuss the application and will normally make a decision at that meeting (occasionally it is deferred to a later meeting or for a site inspection instead).
Notifying you of an appeal against a refused case
Where the decision is to refuse planning permission the applicant can appeal to the Welsh Assembly Government (usually within 6 months). If you previously contacted us about the application with comments you will be notified of such an appeal.
Speaking at Planning Committee
How can I request to speak to the Planning Committee?
You cannot speak at the Committee as of right. The invitation to speak is at the discretion of the Chair of the Planning Committee.
The Planning Committee meeting is held at the Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1AY (LL13 8BG for Sat Nav) and usually starts at 4pm on a Monday every 4 weeks.
You may only speak if the planning application is on the Planning Committee agenda and subject to the points set out below:
- You must have notified our planning service of your request to speak either by email, telephone or in writing. You must do this as soon as possible, but by 4.30pm on the Friday before the date of the Committee meeting at the latest. You will need to leave an email address or daytime telephone number so that we can contact you.
- Only one spokesperson can speak for or against each application. The Chair of the Committee may allow a second speaker in exceptional cases where a major application generates different views within one ‘side’ of the argument (e.g. a superstore application where one spokesperson represents residents and another local retailers, but both are opposed to the scheme).
Public speaking is not permitted at:
- Committee meetings if the application has been discussed at a previous meeting, but deferred.
- Committee site inspections, unless asked by the Chair to clarify factual matters.
- Committee meetings convened to decide applications following site inspections.
Nominating a spokesperson
If several people wish to speak, they must get together to agree who will be the spokesperson and let us know. It is a condition of this scheme that you will allow us to give your contact details to others (of the same view) who request to speak, to help you to nominate a spokesperson.
If there is no agreement, only the person who notified us first will be allowed to speak.
We will inform (by email, telephone or letter) those who request to speak of the date of the Committee meeting where the application will be considered, no sooner than 3 working days before the meeting. If you have not provided an email address or telephone number, this may occur as late as the day of the meeting. You may inspect the reports on the Committee agenda 3 working days before the meeting.
If you are the nominated spokesperson you should introduce yourself to the Committee Officer between 3.30pm and 3.45pm.
When the application is to be considered, you will be invited by the Chair of the Committee to speak (once for up to 3 minutes). You do not need to repeat all the points submitted to us as these will already have been summarised in the Committee Report. You are advised to focus on the key points of concern to you.
Having spoken you must leave the matter to be debated by the Committee but the Chair of the Committee may ask you questions to clarify any points.
Broadcast of meetings
The Committee meeting will be filmed for broadcast on our website and may be used for training purposes (within the council). If you do not wish to be filmed you can contact the Committee Officer by calling 01978 292242. We will not film a speaker who does not consent to appear.
After a decision is made on whether planning permission is granted
We will issue a decision notice to the applicant (or their agent) and we will notify people who have submitted comments. The press will normally report decisions on major proposals.
What will happen next?
Where the decision is to refuse permission the applicant can appeal to the Welsh Assembly Government (usually within 6 months). A Planning Inspector will review the case and can support the council’s decision or grant approval. Those people who contacted us about the application will be notified of such an appeal.
Where the application is approved, the decision notice will usually contain planning conditions requiring, for example, the use of matching building materials, landscaping, parking, specific hours of use of commercial premises.
What are my rights if planning permission is granted?
Neighbours do not have a right of appeal against the grant of planning permission except on legal grounds and you would need to consult a solicitor for advice.
The grant of planning permission does not override any civil or property rights you may have over the land affected, but you would need to consult a solicitor for advice.
If the development affects or is near to yours or a neighbour’s property, the developer may need to notify you/them of any proposed works under the Party Wall Act.