Step 2: Visit the site of the proposed development
Compare the application to the physical reality.
Once you've looked at the planning application, the next step is to visit the site so you can build up a mental picture of the development and its likely effects.
Remember that you could be trespassing if you go on the site without permission. Stick to public rights-of-way, or get permission from the landowner before visiting.
There are lots of things you should consider during your visit:
Planning conditions can ensure new developments are built in local stone
- Is the application accurate? Are local features like rights-of-way, trees, hedges and boundary fences shown? Are the maps up-to-date? Are all properties marked? Does the application correctly describe how the site has been used in the past?
- How well would the development fit into its surroundings? Would it blend in, dominate or provide a welcome contrast? Is it a sympathetic design? Remember that details as simple as the alignment of a roofline, its design and pitch or the materials used can affect a development's impact on its surroundings.
- If it's a larger development, how will it affect the local area, particularly the road network?
- Could it lead to further development? Would this be beneficial or damaging?
- Does it meet a need in your area for a particular type of development, for example affordable housing or small business units?
- Has the site been developed before? How well connected will the development be to local services such as public transport, shops and schools?
Step 3: Decide your stance on the application
How planning applications are assessed