The local planning authority is Dover District Council which, for the majority of planning applications, decides whether permission is granted or refused. The District Council's website provides a lot of information on planning, including lists and details of the applications it has received with each applicant's paperwork and architect's drawings on line. And, for those who wish to comment to the Council's planners, there's an on-line response form. If preferred, it is also possible to submit views in a letter.
Walmer Parish Council, Deal Town Council and neighbouring parish councils are consulted on local planning applications for developments in their respective areas.
Walmer Parish Council and Deal Town Council have specially appointed planning committees; other local parish councils normally deal with planning at their regular council meetings. Local residents can attend these meetings and are normally allowed to speak on any application about which they have an interest or concern. The town and parish councils may then submit their formal views to the District Council. Whilst the parish and town councils expect their views to be given careful consideration, the final decision on most applications rests with the District Council. (Some applications for major developments are determined by Kent County Council.)
Understandably, most people are concerned when there is a planning application for a scheme near to their own property. It's important to remember that everyone has the "right" to submit an application. And everyone has a "right" to comment on it.
Finding out that there is a new planning application relies on people being observant. Dover District Council does not notify neighbours directly. It does, however, place one or more small notices in the street close to the property where development is proposed and publishes lists of all applications on its website. Details of some - but not all - applications are published as public notices in some local newspapers. Normally any comments on an application need to be submitted within 28 days of it being published.
Occasionally people ask if we'll include their particular concerns about a new planning application on WalmerWeb or DealWeb. Sadly we really don't have the resources to present a balanced report on individual applications on our local news pages. There are, however, several local Facebook pages - including "Walmer Kent" and "DealWeb" - where people can share their concerns and others may respond and put their point of view.