At our AGM on the 24th May 2018, we agreed to provide some guidance on how to respond to planning applications.  The Campaign to Protect Rural England (Herts) has provided excellent advice and even a sample letter or email of support.  Here is the CPRE 8 step guide with an adopted letter that may assist you responding to a planning application.  

The guide is principally aimed at members of the public and community groups who are concerned about a proposal for development which has gained, or may gain, planning permission, and outlines the scope for legal challenge of land use planning decisions.  For further details, see .

Our top tips for viewing and understanding planning applications.

How will this development affect you and your community?

Compare the application to the physical reality.

Our top tips on forming a view on the proposal.

Planning decisions are made in accordance with your area’s Development Plan.

Will you support the application, ask for changes or oppose it?

Our top tips on commenting effectively.

Engage your community and your local planning authority.

Speaking at the committee meeting where the application is considered could make all he difference to your chance of success.

Use this sample letter as a guide to writing an effective letter of objection to your local council about a planning application.  Please remember to make your letter unique.

State Interest and general view of person writing

“I write in connection with the above planning application. I have examined the plans and know the site well. I wish to offer my support to the proposal, for the reasons outlined below.”

Refer to government policy and site-specific local development plan policy which though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on.

” Whilst I am aware of the concerns of some in the community that this proposal for infill development will damage the character of the Goffs Oak and surrounding area. However, I believe that Goffs Oak is an expanding area but it needs to be well suited to sympathetic and well planned expansion. Policy C14 of Borne’s emerging Core strategy (awaiting independent examination) states that the village could expand to the degree of xxxxxx new households. In my opinion a number of high quality infill proposals, similar to this application, would meet this need in the most sympathetic way possible avoiding the need for a new ‘estate’ development. The latter would be much more likely to disrupt the character of the local area and would make it more difficult to incorporate the new houses into the community. In addition, the draft National Planning Policy Framework states that there should be a wide choice of high quality homes to meet people’s needs; this development would help to meet the demand for such housing in Goffs Oak and surrounding area.

I think that the high quality of the proposals however, combined with the long-term sustainability of the site chosen, outweigh the force of this policy.  The developer has also indicated that one of the homes on the site will be affordable; this will make a contribution to meeting affordable housing needs”.

Reference to government policy and to ‘planning history’ – the local planning authority’s previous planning decisions in the area. 

“Goffs Oak remains a thriving village, and there some demand for housing here. Applications for larger-scale housing developments have been refused in recent years because of concerns about their impact on the existing road network and infrastructure.

It should make provision for travel by sustainable  means so local facilities would be easily accessible by foot or bicycle, and bus stops for travelling either east or west to nearby Cuffley, Potter Bar and Cheshunt owns and places like Newgatestreet would need to be supported by walking and cycling paths”.

Reference to other issues which affect the community as a whole, rather than individual interests. 

“The site for this development needs have to be well chosen. It is should be within the boundaries of the village, as defined  by policy S10 of Borne’s emerging Core Strategy, and therefore nearby to  local services, such as shops, the pub and the village hall.

I am aware of the concerns of some in the community that the development will mean the loss of some open space that is used for informal recreation. I note however that the scheme includes the provision of a smaller, but landscaped public green area, which will be open to use by all. I am also aware of demand amongst local community for affordable houses in the area. Many who have grown up in the area would very much like to remain, but family-size  houses such as those proposed rarely come available on the market. This development proposal is therefore welcomed by this section of the community.

Reference to development plan generic development control policy which, though not yet adopted, is the most recent and has already been consulted on, plus references to further issues of concern to the wider community Policy H9 of Borne’s emerging Core Strategy states that proposals for development that are particularly innovative in their approach to reducing the carbon emissions of the district should be considered in a favourable light”.

Reference to other bodies in the local community who support your position. 

” I understand that this proposal is also supported by the Goffs Oak Community Association”.

Formal request to speak at the local planning authority committee meeting at which the application may be decided (some local planning authorities require respondents to planning applications to give notice, in their response, of their wish to speak at committee meetings). 

“If this application is to be decided by councillors, please take this as notice that I would like to speak at the meeting of the committee at which this application is expected to be decided. Please let me know the date of the meeting as soon as possible.

Yours Faithfully



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.