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How to Write a Letter Commenting on a Planning Application

Updated April 17, 2017

Building work and construction requires planning permission from the local council. Appropriate planning applications need to be filed properly. Once the application is filed, the information will be available for public record and the residents of the area will be notified. The residents will receive a copy of the application and be given a certain period of time, such as a month, to make comments on the proposed planning application. There are certain procedures to follow to comment on a planning application.

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Draft your letter in a word processing program by using the business letter format, with your name, address, phone number and e-mail address on the top left of the page. Skip a line and put the date underneath, and then the address of the council building department.

Type "In Reference To Planning Application:" and the application number underneath the council address. Place the greeting, such as "Dear Sir" or "To Whom It May Concern" under the application number.

Comment specifically on the reasons why you are either in favour or opposed to the planning application. Permitted objections include health and safety issues, the effect on the neighbourhood in terms of noise, smell and damage, or loss of parking or a change in traffic patterns. Write factual comments that refer directly to the application which has been filed and use specifics to support your objections.

Check the document for spelling and grammar errors. Save and print a paper copy for your records.

Copy and paste the letter into a new e-mail and send it to the council, or upload it to the agency's interface. Fax or mail the letter in an envelope, using a stamp, to the appropriate person stated on the planning application, if you do not wish to post your comments online.


Be sure to follow up the letter by attending the final hearing for the planning application. Make an appeal if the decision is not in your favour by presenting your letter as evidence and adding to it as needed during the appeal process. Consult with other neighbours regarding their own comments to help support any objections you may have if you wish for planning permission to be denied.


Be sure to meet the deadline for comments and file them correctly if you choose the online method. The council website might sometimes be completely open to the public, so do not include any personal information that you would not wish people to see if you are concerned about identity theft. Make sure you refer in a factual way to the application and do not include any material of a personal or legal nature, such as complaining about the loss of a private view or property boundary disputes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Word processing program
  • E-mail account or printer

About the Author

Since graduating from New York University with her Bachelor of Arts in 1996, Evelyn Trimborn has written both fiction and nonfiction for many websites and blogs on health, diet, nutrition, self-help, and business and finance. Her work has appeared on Amazon and at,, and

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