How to comment on a planning application

Making comments on planning applications is your opportunity to have a say in the decision making process by looking at and considering the documents and plans and sending us your comments.

Understanding the proposal

The application documents will be available to view on our planning searches and consultations page where you can search for an application.

If you have viewed the documents and have any further queries, please contact the planning officer who is dealing with the case. Their contact number is provided on our website and on any consultation letter you may have received.

If you are registered with Brent Social Services as having a disability which prevents you from visiting our offices, we may be able to send you a copy of the application please ring for details.

Having your say

Comments on planning applications are best made online. However, comments may also be made by letter or e-mail.

Identical, similar or pro-forma letters or emails will each be treated as a single signature in support of a petition and not as individual objections in their own right.

To comment online, go to our planning searches and consultations page. To log in;

  • select 'Planning simple search'
  • enter the application reference number.
  • go to the 'comments' tab 
  • select 'make a comment'.

You may also submit your comments by post to the case officer at Planning, Brent Council, Brent Civic Centre, Engineer's Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ or by sending an email to the address specified on the letter sent to you. Please quote the planning application reference number so that we can match it to the correct application together with your address.

Please do not put any personal, sensitive or offensive information in the main text of the comment, as this information will be viewable on our website.

If we receive a petition or a standard letter from multiple contacts, we will record the comments as 'PETITION received', either against the contact details of the Head Petitioner / Original Author of standard template letter or against the first name and address that is listed on the petition or that we receive the standard template letter from.

Please reply within the stated time scale. If you respond after this period, your views may only be taken into account if the application has not yet been decided.

A warning about your comments

Comments we receive about an application are a public record for anybody to see, including the applicant or other neighbours.

Therefore, please avoid writing anything that you would not want other people to read.

Comments made will be summarised in a publicly available report when the application is determined. Names will not be included but a locational description e.g. ‘neighbour’ may be used. 

Data protection and our privacy notice

Further information about how we use your personal information throughout the planning application process, can be found on our privacy notice.

Relevant considerations

Planning law specifies what factors may be taken into account when deciding a planning application. 

Planning permission deals with a number of factors including the appearance of new buildings, their impact upon neighbours and the locality, and the appropriateness of the use of land and buildings. Planning regulations are not designed to deal with structural matters (e.g. foundations and drainage), civil matters (e.g. boundary disputes), or personal matters (e.g. people's approval or disapproval of particular individuals or organisations).

Some matters not normally relevant to planning applications are listed below.

An application may not be refused simply because many people are opposed to it. The Planning process seeks to balance the rights of applicants to develop or use their land as they wish, with the rights of neighbours to continue to enjoy the use of theirs.

It also has to consider the wider public good, government guidance and planning policies.

Objections normally relevant to planning

  • problems of increased noise, smell, dust, traffic, etc. caused by the use (but not during construction work)
  • loss of light, privacy or outlook
  • number, size or design of buildings
  • traffic safety or congestion, including effects on pedestrians
  • effect on parking
  • transport issues, e.g. availability of public transport, facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities
  • loss of trees or other natural features
  • effect on the character of the area
  • effects on conservation areas, listed buildings, protected open spaces and nature conservation areas
  • loss of more beneficial land uses, e.g. employment uses, homes or community uses
  • opportunities for crime arising from a development
  • conflict with government or local policies.

Objections not normally relevant to planning

Some objections cannot be taken into account because they are outside the control of planning legislation. This list is not exhaustive but highlights some of the most common issues:

  • possible loss of value to properties in the area
  • nuisance caused during construction work - this is covered by environmental health legislation
  • Concerns regarding foundations and sewerage - these are dealt with under the building regulations
  • moral objections to a proposed use e.g. religious opposition to alcohol, gambling and animal slaughter
  • an applicant's personality, character, behaviour, ethnic origin or way of life
  • private matters between neighbours e.g. boundary disputes over fences and rights of way
  • loss of a view from a private property
  • commercial competition or loss of trade
  • the fact that a development may be profit-making
  • the history of the site e.g. any restrictive covenants
  • the internal layout of private buildings (except where relating to the quality of accommodation or where an undesirable use of part of a building, such as one involving noise or vibrations from industrial machinery, could affect neighbours)
  • health concerns about mobile-phone masts - such masts already have to comply with existing national and international guidelines for radiation emissions; any further legislation needed to safeguard public health is the responsibility of central government, not local councils.

What happens after you have commented

Your comments will be logged on our database and uploaded to the electronic application file.  We will not normally notify you of the receipt of the comments or respond directly to you in relation to them.  However, you can check online by searching for the application and selecting “view comments”.

Comments that have been received will be discussed within the report for the application.  You will not normally receive a personal response to your comments, so if you have a query in relation to an application then you should contact the case officer directly.