West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2017-11-27
End date: 2018-01-10
Results: 2018-03-09

Budget Proposal 2018/19: Neighbour Notification Letters for Planning Applications

This consultation is now closed.

This is one of three budget proposals for 2018/19. You can view the full list online.


There is a desire and a requirement to advertise planning applications in a way that alerts the public to proposals which may be of interest to them, so that they are both aware of the proposals, and also able to make comments.

Currently the service places an orange site notice on, or in the vicinity, of all sites where there is a current planning application. The site notice sets its own 21 day period from the day it is placed on site, for comments to be submitted by anyone who wishes to make comment. 

In addition to statutory requirements, the service sends direct mail letters to all properties with a common boundary, and where the proposal is a major development, all properties within 100m of the application site.

Details of the applications can also be viewed on our website.

Legislation requirements

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, sets out the requirements for publicising planning applications. There are several types of application which must be advertised by the placing of a specific site notice on, or near to, the application site. There are corresponding press notices which must also be placed.

The vast majority of applications must be publicised via our website and also by either a general notice, specific to the application, placed on or near the site, or by letter to any adjoining owner or occupier.

What are we proposing?

To cease sending individual notification letters to properties in the vicinity of a planning application, where there is an option to choose between notifying neighbours by letter or by site notice

We are currently going beyond the statutory minimum and due to financial pressures are now proposing to adopt the minimum.

It is expected that a saving of £17,500 per year will be made as a consequence of this change.

What do we think the impact will be?

An immediate site neighbour will be advised by the site notice in the same way as everyone else. This should be of minimal impact. The wider community beyond the directly adjoining neighbours will continue to be made aware of applications via the site notice.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) [394kb] for more details.

What else have we considered?

The service continues to seek opportunities to be as efficient as possible, including supporting the submission of electronic applications, publishing information our website to allow customers to help themselves and reducing or stopping non statutory services.  

Why we want your views

We would like to hear from you as to how this proposal could potentially impact on you and on the wider community. In particular, we would be interested in any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

Please note: Twitter and Facebook posts will not be considered as a valid response.

What you told us

We received 97 responses (including one incomplete response) to the consultation. A background to the proposal and outline of the responses can be found in the Consultation Summary Report.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal, was made at the Full Council meeting on 1 March 2018.