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Guidance on preparing a petition in conjunction with a Planning related issue

Who can submit a Petition?

Anyone can submit a petition to the Council on issues relating to planning applications. There are no age restrictions (children can also submit and sign petitions).

For petitions relating to planning applications, petitioners may include non-Dudley residents who have an interest in the application, for example, the applicant, the applicant's agent, the owner of the property etc.

Data Protection Disclaimer

As part of the e-enable services, local authorities are being asked to make information from their planning and building control registers and databases available on their websites. Guidance and information about the implications for managing personal data has been produced by The Planning and Regulatory Services Online Project (PARSOL). The content has been discussed and approved by the Information Commissioner.

In accordance with current statutory obligations, most of the documentation received will be made accessible to the public and will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act. We will:

  • only use the information for the purpose of dealing with and considering the relevant planning appeal;

  • only hold the information for as long as is reasonably necessary. For completed planning appeals this is usually 12 months, although we keep a copy of the Inspector's decision indefinitely. It may be that personal information could form part of the Inspector's decision.

What should a Petition contain?

In general, a petition should include:

  • a brief title and a short statement covering the subject matter of the petition;

  • the name of the petitioner;

  • the contact address of the principal petitioner to which all communications concerning the petition should be sent;

  • clearly state what action the petitioner wishes the council to take.

  • Include a data protection statement, which includes clarification that:

    • the people signing the petition should only provide personal information if they are happy for it to be placed in the public domain;

    • They should not include personal information about another third party (including family members);

  • the name, address and signature of any person supporting the petition.

The information contained in a petition must be submitted in good faith and be decent, honest and respectful.

Petitions will be rejected if they are defamatory, frivolous or offensive.

What happens once the signatures have been collected?

The principal petitioner should decide when he or she has collected sufficient names and submit it to Planning and Development Services for consideration.

What is the process for submitting the Petition?

Petitions relating to a planning application, may be considered at the meeting of the Development Control Committee, at which the planning application itself is considered.

How many names should be on the Petition?

There is no maximum number of names on a petition. On average Dudley Council would expect the minimum to be 10, however this depends on the issue at hand.

What Can Petitions Achieve?

Petitions submitted to the council inform debate and can have positive outcomes that lead to change. For example, they can:

  • bring an issue to the attention of the council for them to consider;

  • demonstrate strong public approval or disapproval to something that the council is doing;

  • It should be remembered however that it is not the number of people who sign a petition that determine the outcome of an application, the decision will be made on the planning merits of the case.