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Comment on planning applications

Any individual, group or organisation can make comments of objection or support for a planning application in the form of a written letter or email.

If comments are to be taken into account by the planning authority in reaching its decision, they must be made within the relevant time periods and relate to matters that are 'material' under planning legislation.

Please note that any comment that you make cannot be treated as confidential. Material that forms part of an application and on which the final decision is based must be available for public inspection. Copies of representations and other documents will be made available on the Council's website although personal details (home phone numbers, home email addresses and signatures) will be removed (redacted) in order to comply with data protection legislation.

Examples of material planning grounds include:

  • Contrary to the Development Plan (Structure and/or Local Plan),
  • Traffic, access or parking considerations,
  • Impact of the proposal on the built or natural environment,
  • Design / materials / scale of the proposal and its relationship to its surroundings,
  • Residential amenity such as noise, overshadowing, overlooking, etc,
  • Effect on the setting of a Listed Building or the character and appearance of a Conservation Area

Non-material planning grounds, such as devaluation of property, loss of view across a third party's land, and commercial or business competition are not valid under planning legislation and cannot be considered.

Representations should be submitted in writing (this can include emails) to the Head of Planning & Regulatory Services at the appropriate Planning Office.

It should also be made clear, with the inclusion of a reference number where available, which application is being commented upon, as there may be more than one application for the same site e.g. both Listed Building Consent and planning permission may have been applied for.

All representations must include the date, name and address of the sender, and should clearly state the grounds on which they are made. Anonymous letters commenting on an application cannot be considered.

Petitions of objection or support may also be submitted and will be considered provided that:

  • each page of the petition is headed with the aim of the petition;
  • the names and addresses of those signing are provided and are legible;
  • the comments are material in planning terms and clearly stated;
  • the name and address of the petition co-ordinator is included for receipt of acknowledgement and notification of decision. Only the lead petitioner will receive such correspondence.

Please note that, irrespective of the number of names on it, a petition is regarded as a single representation.

The Council will not accept representations received after the expiry of the 21 day neighbour notification period or, where an application needs to be formally advertised as a statutory notice in the local newspaper, the expiry of that advertisement period (whichever is the later). It is therefore important that you submit any representations as soon as possible and certainly within these time periods or your representation will not be considered. Representations which are received late or which solely raise matters which are not material planning considerations will neither be acknowledged nor displayed online.

Where an application is the subject of fewer than 6 letters of objection, complies with Council policy and considered acceptable in all other material planning respects, then it will be determined under powers (i.e. it will not go before the Planning Applications Committee). For further details on this matter, please see the Scheme of Delegation document on the Planning application forms and guidance page.

In all cases, representations will be given careful consideration, before a decision is made. Representors and the agent / applicant will then normally be notified of the decision on the application. In the event the application does need to be determined by the Planning Application Committee, all parties will be notified of the arrangements.  In certain instances, public speaking at the Planning Applications Committee will be allowed. Please refer to the document below:-

pdf icon Public Speaking at the Planning Application Committee [11kb]

Please note that, in respect of applications received after 1 January 2014, no acknowledgement letters for representations or letters confirming the decision will be sent out. These are now unnecessary as letters of representation and decision notices are displayed online and it is possible to track the progress of an application online too. If your representation has not appeared online 5 working days after the expected date of receipt by the Council and you wish to check that it has been received, please contact the relevant office below.

If the application is approved, there is no right of appeal / review open to any objectors.

Related Information

Contact Details


Development Management - Dumfries

English Street

Tel: 01387 260199
Fax: 01387 260188
Email this contact

Development Management - Stranraer

Ashwood House
Sun Street

Tel: 01776 888468
Fax: 01776 705697
Email this contact

Related Documents

External Links

Contact Dumfries and Galloway Council T: 030 33 33 3000

Council Offices
English Street

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