Campaigning to curb supermarket power

HOW TO WRITE AN OBJECTION LETTER

When objecting to a planning application, there are certain things that you should always try and make sure you do:

1. Write the application reference number and name/address of the scheme at the top of your letter. This will make sure that there is no confusion as to which application you are objecting. This is less of an issue if you choose to make your representations by way of the online system that most local authorities use because you have to navigate your way to the application in question before you can submit your objections.

How do I work with the local media?

Get your group to designate a spokesperson or press officer. Send out press releases about what you're doing to the local newspaper, radio, and TV. Follow up press releases with phone calls to make sure they've got it. When something major happens in your campaign, have someone ready to give an interview to the media.

Think of interesting angles on what you're doing and who your supporters are. Carrying out surveys, petitioning, demonstrations, handing out leaflets in the town, or imaginative publicity stunts can all be interesting news stories for your local press.

Do local people have to be consulted about a new supermarket?

Yes. When any application is received it will be validated by the Council, after which the council have to publish information about the application for people to see and reply to. It should be published on the Council’s planning register. This is usually now available online on the Council’s website. Ask the Council if you don’t know the planning application reference number and want to see the entry on the online planning register. Alternatively, you should be able to visit the Council offices to view the application and any documents submitted with it.

What happens if there is an appeal on a refused application?

If a developer appeals a decision that goes against it, the application will move for consideration to a higher level of government. In England and Wales, it will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate, an independent government body. In England, the Planning Inspectorate serves the Department of Communities and Local Government, which is the government department that deals with planning. In Wales, it serves the National Assembly for Wales.

How can I challenge a decision made by the Council if I think it is the wrong decision?

Although the retailer can appeal if a decision is made against them, members of the public do not have a third party right of appeal against a decision approving a supermarket.
The Council should have made the decision in favour of the retailer based on sound planning reasons as set down in local and national planning guidance. If you feel this has not been the case, you should say so

What issues will the Council consider when deciding on a supermarket application?

The Council planning officers and planning committee will consider the application to see if it complies with local planning documents that relate to that specific site, to the town or neighbourhood in which it is located.

Documents relating to town centre land  uses will be relevant (even if the proposal is not in a town centre), as will any relating to other issues that the application brings up, such as traffic and impact on local residents. 

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