Planning tips

HOW TO COMMENT ON A PLANNING APPLICATION

Comments must be on planning grounds.  All planning decisions are based on evidence and must be defensible and reasonable.

Like many councils, Hounslow works with developers to develop acceptable plans, charging a fee for this service, and guides residents to develop acceptable plans, also charging a fee for this service (check this list and look for householder developments).  Unlike many councils, Hounslow does not help residents comment on others’ plans so here’s our guide to commenting on a planning application – big or small.

WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER AND DO

  • Individual letters from many people are more effective than a petition.
  • Template letters/cards will be counted together as one submission.
  • Using your own words gets attention.
  • Don’t worry about style, neatness or how you write; being yourself impresses.
  • Don’t be offensive or discriminatory; they are not planning arguments.
  • You don’t have to raise every aspect below; what bothers you or supports your arguments?
  • Planning decisions must be based on evidence, not opinions or hunches. They must be defensible. They must be reasonable. Provide information that supports these fundamental principles.
  • Describe the area that will be affected.
  • Say if and how it will affect or impact on you, your road, your neighbourhood.
  • Say if others, such as residents’ associations or community groups, support your position.
  • Focus on size and visual impact; is it in scale with nearby properties, the area?
  • Is it land-grabbing (taking land that has another specific purpose)?
  • Is it garden-grabbing (using garden space to build an extra property)?
  • What about density or over-development?
  • Is it overbearing, out of scale, out of character? If it is ugly, say so.
  • Does it overlook or overshadow, will it intrude or cause loss of privacy or light?
  • Will it affect services: schools, access to GPs, transport, traffic, parking, roads?
  • Will it create noise or disturbance after (not during) construction?
  • Will it affect or be affected by air or noise, safety?
  • Will it damage trees or require trees to be removed; is landscaping an issue?
  • Is it in or will it affect a conservation area or impact on a nearby listed building?
  • Does it meet the Hounslow Local Plan (here) and/or the London plan (here)  and does it follow Hounslow planning guidance (here)?
  • Put the reference number(s) and location in the heading/email subject line.
  • Always meet the deadline!