Chelmsford City Council

View or comment on planning applications

View or comment now

You can use Public Access to view planning applications that have been submitted to us. 

You can search for applications, track their progress and add comments.

Public Access uses tabs, and you can use these to:

  • view details of the application, including a summary, contacts and important dates
  • make a comment if the application is in the consultation period
  • view comments from consultees
  • view plans and documents, including drawings, decision notices and officer reports
  • look at any related cases
  • view the location of the application on a map 

Many of the building plans, documents and drawings include very detailed information. You may find it easier to view these documents on a desktop computer, rather than on a smartphone or tablet.

If you don’t have access to the internet or a desktop computer, you can use self-service desktop computers at:

You can comment on current planning applications during the consultation period. 

It is not currently possible to submit comments on Public Access from a mobile or tablet device.

You need to search for the application you want to comment on. Once you have found the application, you need to select the ‘Make a Comment’ tab.

If you have a detailed comment, you may want to write it in another program, such as Microsoft Word, then paste it into Public Access. This is because sessions on Public Access time out after 30 minutes.

We will only consider comments if they relate to planning matters. Planning matters include:

  • the size and scale of the proposal    
  • potential loss of light   
  • the design and appearance of the proposal    
  • potential loss of privacy or increased overlooking   
  • the impact on traffic and parking
  • potential for additional noise and disturbance
  • the impact on trees, landscape or existing buildings   

Planning matters do not include:

  • property value
  • the loss of a view
  • land ownership disputes
  • preference for an alternative development
  • competition for existing business
  • the personal circumstance of the applicant     

If you want us to consider your comment on a planning application, you need to provide your name and address.

If you don't, we will classify the comment as anonymous, and will not:

  • consider it as part of the decision process

  • be able to notify you of any related planning applications 

We will make all comments we receive publicly available. We will publish comments online two to three days after we receive them. 

If you would like to view a comment on an application we received before 1 April 2019, you can complete our online request form.

We will not display, share or consider any comments that are inappropriate, including those that are racist, inflammatory or derogatory.

If we receive comments by post or in a format that we can't copy from, we will display a summary of the comment.

If you would like to get alerts about future applications in a particular area, you can register and set up saved searches within Public Access.

You can save any search you have run using the Save Search button at the top of the screen. You can then choose if you would like to receive email updates for your search results. The emails come through at around 6pm every day. However, if there are no changes or new applications, you will not receive an email.

The most popular saved searches are for new applications received in a particular ward or parish.

Daily emails of applications received in a particular ward or parish

To receive emails details of all new applications, you need to:

  • Login to Public Access
  • Go to the 'Search' menu, then select 'Advanced'
  • Select the Ward/Parish from the drop down list
  • In the 'Date Validated' field, enter a date in the past and 'Search'
  • If 'no results are found', then search again using an older date
  • When you have at least one result, select the 'Save Search' button
  • Change the search title to something that describes what you have searched for (such as “Applications in Broomfield”)
  • Select the 'Yes' radio button for the 'Notify me via email about new search results' option then 'Save'

Your search will be listed in your 'Saved Searches'. You will receive an email each evening if we have validated any applications matching your criteria, with a quick link to the application details

You can also search on keywords within an application description such as 'Extension' or 'Window' or an address for just a particular street.

You can use a combination of some or all the shown fields.

You can only save a search that has results so you may have to adjust the date fields or other fields to find applications that meet your criteria.

Managing saved searches

To view and edit your saved searches, you need to:

  • Login to Public Access
  • Select 'My Profile' from the menu bar
  • Select the 'Saved Searches' tab
  • Your saved searches will be detailed in a list
  • You can sort the list by clicking on the column headings
  • To perform a saved search now, click on the 'Run' button for that search
  • To modify the criteria of a search, click on the 'Edit' button for that search
  • To remove a search from the list, click on the 'Delete' button for that search

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Last updated: 23 July 2021

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