Renfrewshire Council

How to make a comment on a Planning Application

Anyone (individuals, groups or organisations) can make representations on a planning application, you might want to support a proposed development or you might want to object to it.  

These comments for or against a proposal are generally referred to as 'letters of representation' by the Council.  

It is important to realise that an application cannot be refused because a lot of people object to it or approved because a lot of people are in favour of it. 

Material considerations

Material considerations are the matters the Council can take into account in deciding on an application.  

If you want to object, your objection is not considered material if it isn't made for legitimate planning reasons. This means that it will not be considered in the assessment of the planning application proposal.  

Some examples of material considerations are:

  • Contrary to the Development Plan

  • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments

  • Previous planning appeals

  • Appearance (design, materials, scale etc);

  • Traffic, parking and access problems

  • Residential amenity (overshadowing, overlooking, noise, odour etc)

  • Effect on the setting of a Listed Building or character of a Conservation Area

  • Loss of trees or landscaping issues

  • Risk of flooding

Some examples of non-material considerations are:

  • Loss of a private view over someone else's property

  • Issues between neighbours such as land/boundary disputes, damage to property or private rights of access

  • Loss in the value of your property

  • Fire hazard

  • Competition between shopkeepers and other businesses

  • Problems arising from the construction activity associated with proposed works such as noise, dust, construction vehicles or hours of working

  • Where no specific grounds of objection have been submitted

The above list is not a definitive list.  Further information and advice is available from the Development Management Section using the contact details below.

Letters of representation will be taken into consideration in the assessment of applications but the Council will not enter into discussions with representees regarding the merits of particular proposals.  

Representations must include a valid name and postal address.  Anonymous letters will not be considered.  Representations must also be submitted within the relevant timescales to be taken into account.

Comments can be submitted in writing by post and email by using the contact details below.  You can also submit a comment online through the planning application and appeal search page.  The link to the planning application and appeal search page can be found under the Related links Section on this page.

Letters of representation submitted to the Council containing any material deemed to be racist or offensive will be disregarded and the material may be passed to the Police to determine whether any further action should be taken.

Please note that letters of representation received will be treated as confidential only during the period when a proposal is being assessed, once a decision has been made letters of representation are then available for public inspection.  However under the Data Protection Act certain personal details such as contact telephone numbers and email addresses will be redacted.  In cases where a planning application decision is appealed your letter of representation will form part of the Council's case and will be available for public inspection.