Mill Hill Preservation Society
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Mill Hill Preservation Society

How to write a letter of objection

You can write a letter outlining your concerns against any planning application. This letter has a strong impact with the Council as you are objecting to something the Council has now officially logged and has in hand. The Council will have given the application a reference number and you need to quote this number in your letter.

If the LBB has served notice on you that a planning application has been made affecting you, somewhere on the form there will be a date by which any letters of objections have to be made. You need to comply with any date given. You should also include you name and address on the reply as well as the planning reference number.

To be absolutely fair, if you have no objections to a scheme then it is perfectly reasonable to write to the Planning Department and express your views in favour.

However, if you are objecting, your letter should be personal and as factual as possible. Objections can be made in various ways and writing to the Local Authority Planning Department and to your local Councillor is the best combination for a complaint affecting you or your property.

We will not provide a prescriptive writing guide as the Council will view ‘identikit letters’ as a singular objection; therefore please take time to think about the issues concerned and express your individual arguments clearly in the letter.

Your objection to an application may concern issues such as:

  • a development that is out of scale and proportion to adjacent buildings
  • a development that uses forms and materials not in keeping with the locality
  • increased traffic volumes on an already busy road junction/network
  • additional parking in an area where new parking will be undesirable
  • pollution from extra cars, noise, and social inconvenience of late night use
  • a development that will result in unfair economic conditions
  • a development not allowed in the Green Belt
  • a development not allowed in the Conservation Area
  • a development that involves the loss of mature trees worthy of retention
  • open space, hedges and wildlife will be affected
  • a development that is not adapted to future climate changes & sustainability

…there are no prescriptive reasons you have to cite as your objections – whatever bothers you the most about the proposal is what you should write about!

Although, in your opinion, the thought of an unsuitable development will drive you mad, presenting your views in an articulate and reasoned way is wise - always be polite if you communicate with the Council. Planning Officers have to present the case for consideration by the Planning Committee, who must make a decision in accordance with current planning legislation.

Remember, the more individual letters received by the Council the bigger the impact, so ask others that might be affected by the development to write as well.

Of course the Council may decide to grant Planning Permission in which case you will have to live with the decision. If in the event that a scheme is refused by the Council then the applicant may go to Appeal – in which case you may have to send your letter all over again but this time using the Appeal reference, the address of the Inspector who is hearing the appeal, and by the due date stated for evidence in the hearing. For complicated issues ask someone on the MHPS Committee for help.

John Living 2008