How to object to a planning application

While the planning system is very complex, it’s easy to have your say. If you have the reference number and the name of the case officer working on the application you can simply submit comments by email. Ideally you need to say which planning policies the application breaches, but don’t let that put you off. Just say why you object to, or support, the application and try to get your comments in quickly – within 21 days of the start date.

It’s also important to contact your ward councillors and parish council.  Developers usually meet ward councillors and planning committee members long before filing their applications so it’s very important that your elected representatives hear from residents too!

You can read all the documents, drawings, and comments from other people on MK Council’s website on the planning section. Or simply follow Xplain for analysis and updates and if you have a query drop me a line and I’ll try to help.

You can also register to use the portal and submit your comments that way. And if you tick ‘track’, it will email you when something significant happens.

a packed public gallery in support of MK Market

Council gallery packed with Xplain supporters

For a night to remember, I recommend going to the public gallery when the Council’s Development Control Committee is judging a controversial plan.

This can be a night of high drama or low farce, where a ‘quasi-judicial’ committee, drawn from all political parties, weighs the evidence and votes.

The applicants for major planning applications usually turn up in force – ready to punch the air and look unbearably smug if they win. Or go to appeal if they lose!

10 thoughts on “How to object to a planning application

  1. HAAVA

    Dear Xplain supporters, if democracy is not fully exercised or applied tomorrow night my suggestion is that a new political group gets formed in Milton Keynes to protect our democratic right to influence local government processes AND to show the public concern that neither the Councillors or Council employees in MK realise that they are in fact working on our behalf and for us. With more than 20,000 people objecting to the current mismanagement by MK Council and non-democratic way they operate we should be able to trigger some local by-elections and maybe even a full round of local elections by lodging a united VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE. If your local Councillors are not interested in listening to you and your concerns for this wonderful city then let’s vote them OUT!!! Let’s SOCC it to them – Save Our City Centre!!! They are killing it off and adding more shops in an overheated and tired economy for the sake of commercial interests and shareholders is just stupid.

  2. jeanette amming

    I have signed the online petition and have expressed my anger and frustration .. please tell me how i can get more involved in this fight. I used to work on the market and my daughter still does along with many friends that i have made over the years both as a trader and a customer. I cant agree with you more in the respect that if we don’t stand up as a hole and be counted then our voices will not be heard and the market and the integrity of MK as a vibrant place to shop and visit will be lost

    1. xplainmk Post author

      Great. Would you help with the petition, for example? I’m going to send you an email from Xplain with a paper version of the petition, which you can easily print out and use with friends, at work wherever. Or, if you prefer, if you could please drop in and see Gary on The Phone Doctor stand? He’s almost opposite the main doors from the arcade, and should have some spare copies there. Some people have had terrible problems with the online petition and given up, but I’m glad you did that and a bonus is adding the personal views too. Thanks for offering to help! Linda

  3. jeanette amming

    So tell me how on earth can a mere 4000 signatures on the petitions against mentioned in my previous post compete with the 9000 + signatures gathered by the council in favour of the redevelopment. Aren’t we all just kidding ourselves that if we shout loud enough the beurocrats will hear us and take pitty on the “lowly” market traders . Power be-gets Greed and Greed needs Money … in this case amply supplied by PRIMARK !!!!

    1. xplainmk Post author

      Jeanetter, the Council did not gather 9,000 signatures in favour of the redevelopment. They could never do that kind of thing as they are supposed to be impartial. That was the centre mk, who sent teams of youngsters out in the weeks before Xmas targetting young shoppers, asking if they’d like a Primark in the centre, and if so, to sign a postcard. They then tried to pass these off as formal submissions to the Council’s public consultation “in full support” of their planning application. Luckily, the Council decided to take that with a pinch of salt. So the centre mk then tried to make out the postcards were a kind of grassroots petition! This is the kind of shabby tactic we are used to from the centre mk, but, as you say, it’s driven by greed and money, so what can we expect? In Feb, the people who’ll finally decide to give this the go-ahead or not are our elected councillors. Some of them don’t have a clue but one thing they care about is being in power, and that means sometimes they to listen to their residents. Despite the power of big business. And if, on this really important issue they don’t, and sell the people, the traders, the community, our heritage, history and our future down the river for a piffling Primark – there will be a massive wave of anger, and in some hearts, despair. It would be a terrible injustice. But if that happens, all we can do is name them and shame them, swear never to forget their names, and vote the swines out at the very next chance! I’d much rather fight now, though, and try to defeat it. The more people that join in the more chance we’ve got.

  4. jeanette amming

    I am VERY STRONGLY AGAINST this redevelopment of the market square and the removal of Secklow Gate but i an also a realist as cant help feeling that no matta how many sign both the online and paper petitions the deal is already done and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING anyone can do about it.

    1. xplainmk Post author

      It’s understandable to feel that way but there is definitely a chance to defeat this awful scheme. First, the planning laws are against it. 2nd English Heritage and others have demolished their absurd claims that there is an economic need for this Primark to stop MK going into an economic downspin. 3rd, you can’t ‘create’ new jobs at the expense of existing ones, and there is evidence of over 400 jobs at MK Market being lost if this goes ahead. PLUS the strength of public opinion, and perfectly reasonable objections by thousands of people. So don’t despair Jeanette and turn your anger to good use and object, protest, and speak up!

    1. xplainmk Post author

      Yes, this is such a major change to the way MK was originally designed, with the loss of the premier gateway, huge change to the heritage building, and relocation of the market that the planning department said they’d accept comments up until the day of the Development Control Committee meeting. Plus it’s well worth emailing your ward coumcillors. If you don’t know who thry are pls check on mk council website.


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