Q: Nowadays many representations on planning applications come by email, with just a name at the end but no address for the person making the comments. Is it good practice to accept such representations? NW

A: I suggest that it would normally be good practice to ask the senders of such emails to supply their addresses. This reduces the possibility of fraudulent representations being submitted. It also ensures that the authority is aware where the sender lives in relation to the site, so that the impact of any issue raised, such as loss of light, traffic or noise, can be fully assessed.

However, I am aware of one case involving a very controversial application where many representations were received. Quite reasonably, the authority dealing with the application did not consider that it had the resources to contact all the senders of emails without an address to ask for their addresses. Having said this, I understand that the Planning Inspectorate would take into account any representations received even if they do not include the sender's address. John Harrison

A: Under regulation 28 of the Development Management Procedure Order 2010, local planning authorities must consider all representations received within the relevant timescales. There is nothing in the order that requires a representation to be in a particular form or to include specific information. On that basis, an email without an address would be a valid representation and the authority would be obliged to consider. However, it would be possible to give representations that do not have an address less weight than those that do. In addition, authorities could put something on their website setting out the information they would like representations to include. David Walker


We are not sure in our office how the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 2007 deal with advertisements displayed within a building. Can you give us some help, please? BS

We are puzzled by the inspector's decision on a lawful development certificate appeal relating to a site in Wales (

). A single-storey building on the edge of a park was used by the local authority to store vehicles and equipment in connection with its maintenance of public open space in that part of its area and it also had an ancillary messroom. I consider that this surely falls within the B8 storage and distribution use class, but the inspector did not. We would welcome any views on this finding. GC

Do you have an answer to these questions? If so, please email it to Forum editor John Harrison at by 6 November. We also welcome your queries, which can be emailed to the same address.

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