UK Planning Portal: What is the nation-wide service and how are applications decided?

The portal is the best way to apply for planning permission in the UK, but applications are at risk of being met with objections.

Newcastle's Skyline.
Newcastle's Skyline.

The process of building a new structure can be long and tedious, but the results can be stunning. However, a new development near Ouseburn is in the middle of a controversial effort to build an 18 storey structure near the trendy area – and local companies are not impressed.

Worried about the skyline of the area, local businesses including the Free Trade Inn and Tyne Bar are asking people to object to the plans, but how to applications work, and how will the plans be impacted by these objections?

Although Newcastle City Council accept comments up to the point at which the application is decided, the planning committee suggest any comments should be entered as soon as possible and anyone looking to make an objection can do so through the Planning Portal.

The City Council claim that anyone wanting to make a comment will be able to have their suggestion published on the their website in addition to their address, while any additional information will not be included.

Comments can also be made in writing with all information available on the City Council Website.

There are a series of issues which may be considered as part of the process by the reviewing committee, with the most popular objections coming from issues relating to the design and external appearance of buildings and the impact of the new development of the neighbourhood.

Other issues which could be considered are the layout of the site, where aspects of the development are positioned, access and the impact of highway safety on the surrounding area.

The issues which will not be considered by committees include loss of view or property value from surrounding buildings or increased competition or trade.

Once these comments have been heard,Council Officers are able to make decisions on straightforward cases, this occurs with 90% of local planning applications.

This may not occur with the Ouseburn development and it is likely to move up to the full planning committee stage where decisions are made. These meetings take place every three weeks or so, and the dates they occur are listed online.