Renfrewshire Council

Support or object to a planning permission application

Who can support or object to a planning permission application, material and non-material considerations, how to send your comments on an application to the council.

Who can support or object to a planning permission 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. 

What we take into account when deciding on an application

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 not 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

This is not a definitive list.  Further information and advice is available from the Development Management Section at

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.  

How to submit a comment (letter of representation)

You can submit you comment

Your representations must include a valid name and postal address.  Anonymous letters will not be considered. You must submit your representation within the relevant timescales for it to be taken into account.

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.

What happens after you've sent in a letter of representation to object or support an application

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.

You can see these on the current notices of review for planning permission applications page.