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You are here:home > Environment > Planning services > Planning applications

Planning applications and decisions

You can comment on or object to any planning application, whether it directly affects you or not, even if you haven’t received a letter notifying you of the application. PublicAccess is our online planning database where you can view information about planning applications which have been submitted to Southampton City Council.

  • PublicAccess: search and view planning applications and decisions. By clicking on the link you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.

  • Terms and conditions: please read these terms and conditions before entering the PublicAccess site.

Please note:

From 14th January 2014, any comments submitted via PublicAccess will now automatically be available for public viewing. Please refrain from using bad language, personal details about yourself or defamatory comments about others - as they will be published.

Due to technical difficulties, some of the plans do not have the measuring tool.

Initial comments from consultees will normally be displayed when received but these comments may change if further information is received or discussions take place.

You may experience problems that we are currently investigating where comments submitted electronically are not counted in the public comments section of the new PublicAccess system. Please note that your comments are being received and considered in the normal manner.

You can view the application by:
• Application number
• Address
• Date (validation and decided dates)
• Map view
• Ward, status, type, decision

If you need help on how to make a comment on planning application read through the frequently asked questions section or see our handy ‘PublicAccess user guide' at the bottom of the page.

You can also view planning applications in person at:

Details of our major planning applications are available on the left.

Have your say on planning applications FAQ

1. How can I comment on or object to a planning application?

If you want to make comments which will be taken into account in determining an application they must be submitted either:

  • via Public Access online planning applications database
  • via e-mail to e-mail address shown at the end of this page
  • in writing to the address shown at the end of this page

You will normally have 21 days in which to comment.

If you wish to make comments using the online system, you will need to register on PublicAccess. Please note do not put your personal details in your comments as these will be shown on our web page. 

Please note:

If you are commenting either by e-mail or by letter it is very important that you include the application reference number as well as your name, address and postcode.  We won't be able to consider your comments if you leave this information off.

  • We will send a letter of receipt of all representations by Royal Mail.

  • Your comments will not be shown online, however they are a public document and are part of the documentation for the planning application.

  • You can also find the planning applications nearest to your property using the online map service.

  • You may also wish to contact your local ward councillor  to give your views on a planning application.

  • If you are having problems with understanding the plans or forms with the associated planning application please contact the planning office using the details shown at the end of this page.

2. What comments will be considered?

You can support or object to a proposal, but you should remember that planning applications can only be decided on the basis of planning issues related to that application, for example:

  • overshadowing - the effect on neighbours' daylight, sunlight or privacy 

  • road safety - the impact of traffic, road access, parking and servicing 

  • overbearing - the appearance, bulk or height of the scheme 

  • out-of-character - the impact on the character of the area 

  • disturbance - the impact on amenities such as noise generated by the proposal 

  • principle - the potential loss of a valued local service or use such as a shop or a residential flat 

  • conservation - the effect on a conservation area

Although we can't refuse a scheme because construction works may cause noise and disturbance, we can restrict the hours of work, particularly in residential areas.

For information on your right to have your say on applications that go to appeal, please see our web page on Planning Appeals.

3. What comments won't be considered?

  • the effect on property values 

  • loss of a view 

  • competition between rival businesses 

  • boundary disputes 

  • moral and religious issues 

  • covenants

  • Personal disputes

We will not consider comments which are:

  • Offensive statements that lower a person's reputation personally or within their trade, profession or business.

  • Racist statements are those that discriminate against individuals on racial grounds including their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins. Gypsies and other minorities are considered racial groups.

  • Comments that discriminate on grounds of religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability will also not be published or considered.

  • Anonymous comments will also not be considered 

4. What happens to my comment?

Comments made electronically will receive an electronic acknowledgment.  Letters will be acknowledged by post.  Anything you are concerned about, or have supporting comments about, will be taken into consideration by the planning officer who is dealing with the application. This may lead to the officer contacting the applicant and suggesting amendments to the scheme.

After assessing the application and all comments, the case officer will proceed to determine the application.

If major changes are made, we will let people know who have commented and will normally give a further 14-21 days for additional comments to be made.

When applications are decided by a planning panel all comments received are summarised in the officer's report which is published 5 days prior to the Planning and Rights of Way Panel.  This report can be viewed on the Council’s Planning and Rights of Way agenda.  You will be advised of the date, time and location of the committee should you wish to attend.

Anyone who made online comments or sent a letter will be notified of the decision within 2-3 weeks.

If an application is refused planning permission, the applicant has a right of Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. If you been notified of a planning application or have submitted a comment, we will notify you if an appeal has been made and your comments will be forwarded to the Inspectorate.

5. Will the application be refused if lots of objections are received?

No, the volume of objections will not in itself result in an application being refused. An application can only be refused for ‘planning reasons’ and not because of the number of objections.


6. Who makes the final decision on the application?

The council’s planning and rights of way panel has given the authority to planning case officers (delegated) to decide the majority of planning applications. However, about 10% of applications, sometimes when a ward councillor or resident requests it, or are controversial or complex are heard at the planning panel, who meet approximately every four weeks to decide applications. 

In the rare instances that a large application goes against the policies set out in the Development Plan, the matter will then be referred to the Government who will decide whether the Council should be allowed to decide the application.

7. If I don’t agree with the Council’s decision can I appeal?

As the law stands there is no right of appeal for objectors. In certain circumstance a Council’s decision can be challenged in the courts, if there is a concern that the Council has acted unlawfully or in contravention of the Town & Country Planning Act


Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document PublicAccess User Guide July 2012 713 KB 2secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Using Adobe Measuring Tools Guide 1712 KB 6secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information