Writing a Response

Once you have looked at the application, gathered supporting information and decided that you want to comment then it's time to formulate your response:

  • Ensure your letter is addressed to the case officer and clearly states the planning application reference number and address.
  • Be clear and courteous, stating whether you are objecting or supporting an application and the reasoning for this decision.
  • Keeping the letter brief will help to ensure it is read and digested fully. However remember to attach supporting evidence.
  • You could use sub headings to highlight individual points.
  • Ensure your letter is based on planning issues rather than personal opinion.
  • Comments hold more weight if they relate to planning policies within the Local Plan.
  • Photographs may help to illustrate your concerns.
  • Writing a letter or email will always be more effective than a telephone call.
  • If you are writing as part of an action group encourage all members to write individual letters. You want each person's letter to count as an individual response. You could offer support to members of the group by providing bullet points of all the issues they need to cover in their letters.

Including evidence and relevant planning policy and legislation will strengthen your response. Look through our guidance on legislation and policy relating to the protection of wildlife and biodiversity.

This advice is focused on nature conservation, remember there are many other aspects of a proposal that you will want to consider. For example, traffic, visual impact, local infrastructure and flooding.

How to gain support for your stance

  • Contact your local Councillors and/or MP to see if they are prepared to support your comments.
  • Talk to other local residents to ensure they are informed about the development
  • Set up a campaign group to pool resources and expertise from the community
  • Contact the local press to raise awareness and publicity

What happens next?