Making an effective comment on a planning application


  • keep it brief
  • get the facts straight – check the planning application
  • use bullet points to list your concerns
  • make it personal – how will it affect you?
  • back up your argument by referencing relevant bits of planning policy and guidance (see below)


  • be offensive – although an emotive opinion is not a bad thing

Comments the Council will consider relevant:

  • loss of light or privacy (e.g. Malago Road will be affected by the Rollo Homes application for Plot 1)
  • overshadowing of your home
  • highway safety
  • traffic and parking issues (e.g. increased car numbers, position of car park entrances)
  • noise
  • impact on amenities (e.g. local services, doctors, dentists)
  • impact on wildlife
  • impact on historic buildings
  • impact on conservation areas
  • design of the development (e.g. lack of different types of accommodation, lack of affordable housing, lack of thought for how the streetscape will be affected at ground level e.g. lack of shops)
  • appearance of the development (e.g. height, lack of mixed use, car park elevation on streetscape).
  • lack of developer consultation with the local community

What the Council won’t consider:

  • loss of view
  • effect on property values
  • private rights
  • boundary disputes
  • construction noise

To back up your argument you may wish to include references to planning policy and guidance:

Bedminster Green Framework Agreement

This guidance was produced in collaboration with all the Bedminster Green developers. Current applications don’t meet the terms of the Framework – let’s hold them to it!

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

paras 15-37: making strategic plans for housing, community facilities and green spaces

paras 59-79: providing mixed housing types

paras 91-101: promoting healthy and safe communities

paras 124-132: achieving well-designed places

Bristol City Council’s Core Strategy and Local Plan

(Currently under review)

BCS17: affordable housing (30%); mix of housing types


  • mix of housing types
  • responding to local need
  • addressing affordable housing need
  • contributing to diversity of housing
  • employing imaginative design solutions


  • should have high quality urban design
  • should positively contribute to an area’s character creating or reinforce local distinctiveness.
  • should promote accessibility
  • should be safe, healthy, attractive, usable, durable, well-managed environment
  • should provide a multifunctional public realm
  • should promote diversity and choice through a balanced mix of compatible buildings and uses


  • should avoid adversely impacting on environmental amenity or biodiversity of the surrounding area by fumes, light, pollution

Making a statement to the planning committee

See WHaM’s presentation on making written and verbal statements to the planning committee