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Commenting on planning applications

Development proposals often generate public interest. Your opinions are vital to the decision making process, whether positive or negative. Whatever your view - provided it is planning related, it will be taken into account, as the majority of developments have an impact on the surrounding area and community. The Department understands that every person may have a different view of the development recognising that you have a unique insight into the potential effects of a development on you and your neighbourhood, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your views are known. Participating in the planning process is about more than just objecting. Supporting a proposal or suggesting amendments or conditions that will alleviate your concerns are just as important.

Persons who are interested in an application and who have expressed an interest by contributing to its consideration, should be aware that any later submission or replacement planning application is treated as a NEW and fresh consideration. Accordingly, any comment relative to a development MUST be reiterated if the parties interest and concern remain and where participation in each application is to be maintained.

Assumption should not be made that by commenting on one proposal will ensure an interest will continue onto a replacement application.

Please be aware that anonymous submissions will not be considered as part of any planning determination.

ANY comment submitted as part of a planning consideration is publically available and relevant should the Department be subject to any request under Freedom of Information legislation or General Data Protection Regulations.

Making a comment

All comments should be based on fact, and therefore, it is vital that the plans of the development are viewed beforehand.

Planning applications are available for public scrutiny electronically via the Isle of Man Government's online services, in hard copy at the Department's reception at Murray House in Douglas or at the offices of the Clerk at the relevant Local Authority.

Following the Department's publication of the weekly application list and the applicant's placement of the Site Notice at the application site, 21 days are allowed for members of the public and consultees to make comments on a proposal. Comments are accepted up until the application is determined, however applications cannot be determined until the 21 days have expired. Therefore, comments made within the 21 day period will definitely be considered whilst comments made outside this period may be too late as the application may already have been determined.

Submission of comments must be in writing to the Department or by e-mail to It must be noted that every comment made is available to be viewed by the public, via our online services and are open to the press.

Representation in hard copy can be directed to Planning and Building Control Directorate, Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas, Isle of Man,IM1 2SF

Availability of submitted comment is maintained during and after the consultation process. Once the application has been determined, comments will not only remain available as part of the permanent record of the paper file but also in our public archive which is available online through our website.

Where comment is made and an email address is provided the Department will assume that the sender is happy to receive notice of any decision in an electronic form.

When submitting comment, please:

  • state your name and postal address. Please note that any anonymous representations will not be considered as part of any planning determination
  • state your email address if you are happy to receive electronic notice of any decision made
  • state the planning application number your comments relates to
  • clearly indicate the relationship between your land or building(s) and the land or building(s) that are the subject of the application
  • provide details of your interest in the subject matter of the application
  • Be aware that the content of your submission will be available to the view by the public in its entirety, both on the paper copy of the file and via our online services

Comment content

When comments are viewed by the relevant planning officer, only certain issues relating to planning, known as material considerations, can be taken into account. These could include, for example, the risk of noise and disturbance, overshadowing of a property or loss of privacy.

However, other non planning issues (which are not classed as material considerations) cannot be taken into account, such as property value depreciation, as this would happen over time anyway, regardless of whether the development occurs. For more information, please see our material planning considerations.

Planning Policies are an important material consideration. Adopted documents can be viewed on-line.

Interested Person Status

People who make representation, and who live close enough to be adversely affected by a development, may be entitled to 'Interested Person Status'. This defines whether the contributor has the ability to appeal against a decision once the outcome of the application has been determined. In order to be considered for Interested Person Status, comments must be received by the Planning Officer prior to a decision being made on the planning application. In doing so, they must include their comment and clear detail of their interest in the site. Once a person has recorded their interest in an application, the Department will keep them informed of the outcome and their status by electronic notice (where an email address has been provided) or by letter. Please see our Operational Policy.

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