Commenting on Planning Applications

Any person may submit comments on planning applications, regardless of whether they would be directly impacted by the proposal. Comments may be submitted in the form of a formal objection or as a ‘representation’.

An objection should be submitted if you consider that the planning application ought to be refused in its current form. However, it is important to note that an application can only be refused if it is contrary to the provisions of the relevant development plan or another statutory provision, such as a zoning order or special development order, which may apply to the application site; see the Department’s guide to How Planning Applications are Decided for further information. Therefore, an objection should not be submitted if the issue(s) of concern fall outside of the scope of the planning process.

A representation should be submitted if you wish to comment on an application but do not wish to object. This may include instances where you wish to raise some minor concerns, make suggestions on how the proposal could be improved or voice support for a proposal.

Anyone who provides comments on an application, whether an objection or a representation, will be informed of the outcome of the application and would be entitled to appeal the decision.

If you are unclear in respect of what is being proposed by a planning application or are uncertain whether to submit formal comments, it is strongly recommended that you contact the technical officer by clicking the name adjacent to the ‘Assigned To” field, as illustrated below.

Timescale for Submitting Comments

Objections and representations should be submitted within fourteen (14) calendar days of the application being advertised in the Official Gazette; if the 14th day is a public holiday, the deadline for submitting objections or representations will be extended to the next business day.

Can comments be submitted after the advertisement period has expired?

Objections and representations will be considered “in-time” if they meet all of the criteria set out above and are received by the Department on or before the 14th day following the application being advertised. Comments which are received by the Department after this period will be considered “out-of-time”. The Board must consider any “in-time” objection or representation as part of the assessment of a planning application and the Board may, but is not obliged to, consider “out-of-time” objections and representations.

How to Submit Comments

Objections and representations must be submitted online via the Department’s Customer Self Service (CSS) portal. Hand-delivered objections and representations may be accepted if you do not have access to a computer or  the internet. Objections and representations may also be made on an objector’s behalf by an authorised agent.

Please note that comments submitted by email will not be accepted.

To submit comments, log in or create an account for the CSS portal, click ‘Search Public Records’ and enter the planning application reference number. Then click the link to the right of ‘Plan Number’ (the application reference number in blue) and the screen to the right will appear.

Select the ‘Sub-Records’ tab then select ‘Apply’ alongside ‘Planning Application Objection’ or ‘Planning Application Representation’, as appropriate. Then follow the steps of the online form.

Please note that it is not possible to submit comments unless you have created a CSS account and you are logged in.

Any objection or representation must adhere to all criteria of Section 18 of the Development and Planning (Application Procedure) Rules 1997 by satisfying all of the points set out below:

What Happens after Comments are Submitted

As noted above, the Board may disregard “out-of-time” comments or any objection or representation which does not meet all requirements listed above. Once disregarded, the objection or representation shall be deemed not to have been made.

The progress of the application may be tracked via the Department’s Customer Self Service portal.

Any person who commented on an application will be informed of the outcome of the application and will also be informed if the decision of the Board or the Director of Planning is appealed.

Letters of objection and/or representation should be emailed to referencing the PLAN or SUB number in the subject line.

Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 5th Floor, 58 Court Street Hamilton, HM12, Bermuda

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