How to make an effective comment on a planning application


  • keep it brief
  • comment on the facts
  • use bullet points to list your concerns
  • back up your argument by referencing relevant bits of planning policy (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 brief references to planning policy:

*National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

para 17: providing mixed use developments

para 38: providing mixed housing types

para 50: providing a wide range of housing types

para 58:

  • should function well and add to the overall quality of the area
  • should create a strong sense of place, using streetscapes and buildings to create attractive and comfortable places to live, work and visit
  • should create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses
  • should respond to local character and history
  • should be visually attractive as a result of good architecture and landscaping

para 66: planning applicants are expected to work closely with those directly affected by their proposals to evolve designs taking account of the views of the community.

*Bristol City Council’s Core Strategy

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