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How to comment on a planning application effectively

Here’s where to find an existing planning application and comment on it.

How to comment – the basics

To make sure we don’t misunderstand your comments, we can only accept them in writing. Your comments will appear publicly on the planning application’s webpage.

  • You can comment online: search for the planning application by clicking here.  If you know the reference number, type it in the search box near the top of this page. Once you have selected the relevant application click on the orange ‘comment now’ box which appears in the planning application details window. This will open the online comment form. The form will time out after 60 minutes – if you have lots of comments we suggest you draft them in your computer notepad and paste them into the form.
  • Or, e-mail comments to
  • Or, send us a letter

If you are emailing or sending a letter, please quote the planning application reference number, the address of the site and the name of the case officer, all of which you will find on the planning application’s webpage.

We will publish your comments providing they are planning related and we do not considered these as inappropriate or offensive

We don’t acknowledge or respond to comments directly, due to the high numbers we receive.

It might take up to two working days for your comments to appear on the website.

Commenting effectively

Comment early

The sooner you send in your comments, the more time we have to make sure they’re taking in to account.


If others share your opinion, it might make your comments more effective if you organise a petition.

A petition should include the names, addresses and the objections/supporting comments of those signing it.  It is better to have a petition with a small number of signatures from residents who will be affected by the application than one signed by a large number of people who live far away from the affected area and/or will not be affected by the proposal.

Types of comments

When we decide applications, we can only take into account what is known as ‘material planning considerations’. These include:

  • Loss of privacy
  • Loss of light
  • Car parking
  • Traffic generation
  • Noise and disturbance
  • Character of the area
  • Green Belt
  • Conservation Area
  • Design, appearance and layout
  • National and local policies

We cannot take into account:

  • Loss of value to a property
  • Loss of view
  • Personal disagreements
  • Boundary disputes
  • Covenants
  • Commercial competition
  • Construction disturbance
  • Sunday trading
  • Matters controlled under other legislation such as the Building Regulations

If you have any concerns about the matters I cannot consider, I suggest you contact either the Citizens Advice Bureau or you may want to consider seeking legal advice. We are unable to advise you about these matters.

For details of our privacy notice, please refer to our website (Service specific privacy notices).

Our Statement of Community Involvement sets out how we consult on planning applications (Statement of Community Involvement)

Your councillors

If you have strong views either supporting or opposing an application, you may like to contact your district councillor. You can find their contact details here on our website.

Contact us - Planning

01235 422600
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE