We deal with planning applications that relate to minerals, waste and our own County Council developments such as schools, libraries, Social Services developments and new roads.
Your local planning authority (District or Borough Council) should be able to advise you of other types of developments, including extensions, residential and business developments.
You can search for current planning applications and submit your comments online here. You can also view planning applications that have already been determined.
Planning application details can be viewed in person at the relevant local District Council office, online using the Search now button above, or by appointment at our office in County Hall.
Written comments can be submitted in a number of ways:
- Online - Comment on or search for a planning application by location, application type or application number. You will also be able to view all associated application documents and plans as well as being able to submit your comments using the 'Search now' button above.
- Email - Submit written comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the application number and marked for the attention of the case officer, whose name can be found on the consultation letter, site notice or press advert.
- Letter - Send letters to: Environmental Management, Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY. Please quote the application number and case officer name if known.
Comments have to be received within the period stated in the letter, website or newspaper and site notice, so that your views can be taken into account.
Please note that a planning application file is a public document available for inspection, and we cannot treat any written comments as confidential.
Who can use it?
Anyone can comment on a planning application during the consultation period.
If you live near a proposed development site (usually if you are within 100 metres) and will be affected by a proposal you will usually receive a letter from us inviting you to make a comment about the proposal. You can also comment if you are not directly affected, or if you live further away.
Notices are posted at the application site and in some instances we also publish a notice in a local newspaper advising of proposed developments.
What happens next?
We will acknowledge your written comments within 3 working days of receipt.
During the course of processing the application is sometimes altered by further details or plans being submitted. In such cases, if these changes are thought to be significant enough, we may contact you again to give you an opportunity to comment on the amendments.
Your comments will be taken into account during the decision process and your views will be brought to the attention of the Regulation Committee at the time of the decision being made.
If you have registered an objection, we will inform you when the application will be considered by the Regulation Committee in case you wish to attend. We will also inform you of the outcome by letter within 7 days of the decision being made.
What is covered?
We can only consider objections that are relevant to planning, such as environmental effects of the proposed development, landscape and visual impacts, design issues, impact on transport systems and operating issues e.g. hours of working.
Other factors that may be taken into account in the decision making process may include:
- Highway safety
- Visual impact
- Design and appearance
Devaluation of property and the loss of a view are not held to be material considerations.
How long does it take?
We will endeavour to determine planning applications within the Government set timescales, which are:
- Mineral, Waste and all major planning applications - 13 weeks from the date a valid application is received.
- County developments - 8 weeks from the date a valid application is received.