As I read through all the small inserts in my little local community newspaper, I’m struck by the huge increase in the number of planning applications listed for the general public to view and object to, should they so wish. This is the only way of knowing whether a neighbour has plans to extend their house or add anything like a new garage, change a slate roof back to thatch etc. The applicant is best using an architect or building surveyor to complete and submit the application to the local council planning department. All buildings regulations are have to be complied with. The council post a notice outside the building concerned, it has to be left there for a prescribed number of weeks whilst all plans received in that period are discussed by the relevant committee. During this consultation period, objections can be made to the council – with reasons of course. Democracy at work!